Trump throws Moore a lifeline

With 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://ift.tt/1rYrnXl)

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TRUMP JUMPS IN — “Trump throws Roy Moore a lifeline” by Campaign Pro’s Daniel Strauss: “President Donald Trump appeared to accept Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore’s denials of allegations of sexual misconduct on Tuesday and slammed the Democratic nominee in the special election, former prosecutor Doug Jones, as ‘soft on crime.’ … Jones’ campaign has begun airing two new television ads aimed at winning over Republicans who could be persuaded to cross over and vote for the Democrat. One ad, called ‘Voices,’ began airing Monday night and highlights Ivanka Trump, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), and Attorney General Jeff Sessions saying they have no reason to doubt the accusations of a number of women who have accused Moore of pursuing them romantically while he was in his 30s.” Full story.

“Pro-Jones super PAC starts reserving TV ads in Alabama” by Strauss: “A new super PAC supporting former U.S. attorney Doug Jones, the Democratic nominee in next month’s special Senate election in Alabama, has begun reserving TV advertising in the race. The super PAC, Highway 31, is reserving broadcast time starting Wednesday, running for a week. In total, the group has placed $278,000 in advertising in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile and Montgomery, according to Advertising Analytics.” Full story. Watch the ad, “STRONG,” here.

A new Raycom News Network Senate election poll conducted by Strategy Research finds Moore leading Jones 47 percent to 45 percent with 5 percent undecided and 3 percent indicating that they would write in a candidate.

BEHIND THE SCENES Trump privately doubted Moore’s female accusers” by POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt: “President Donald Trump’s near-endorsement of Alabama Republican Roy Moore followed days of behind-the-scenes talks in which he vented about Moore’s accusers and expressed skepticism about their accounts. During animated conversations with senior Republicans and White House aides, the president said he doubted the stories presented by Moore’s accusers and questioned why they were emerging now, just weeks before the election, according to two White House advisers and two other people familiar with the talks. … Trump gave personal approval for White House counselor Kellyanne Conway to go after Moore’s Democratic opponent, former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones, during a Monday interview on ‘Fox and Friends,’ which the president regularly watches, said one person with direct knowledge of the decision. Conway laced into Jones, saying that Alabama voters shouldn’t be ‘fooled’ by him and hinted that the White House wanted Moore’s vote on tax reform.” Full story.

BY THE NUMBERS — “DNC finishes October with only $5M on hand” by Campaign Pro’s Maggie Severns: “The Democratic National Committee raised $3.9 million during the month of October and ended the month with just $5 million in cash on hand, according to a new disclosure. The committee’s fundraising continued to lag behind that of the Republican National Committee, which raised $9.1 million during October. Additionally, the DNC ended October with $2.7 million in debt and $500,000 in outstanding loans to the Amalgamated Bank of New York. The DNC repaid $333,333 in loans during the month of October. Overall, October was the second-slowest fundraising month for the DNC this year, and the committee ended the month with less cash on hand than it has had at the end of any month thus far in 2017.” Full story.

— “RNC spends $342,000 on legal fees in October” by Severns: “The Republican National Committee spent $341,646 on legal fees in October, as expenses for both the committee and President Donald Trump’s campaign mount amid the investigations into Russia’s 2016 election meddling. The RNC and the Trump campaign have disclosed more than $2 million in legal expenses so far this year. The RNC’s filing does not detail what portion of its legal spending is going toward helping pay for the Trump family legal bills from the Russia investigation, but the committee recognized it is helping pay for the fees earlier this year. The expenditures are listed as ‘legal and compliance services’ on the RNC disclosure.” Full story.

RETIREMENT WATCH — “Retirement/resignation watch: GOP Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, according to K Street sources,” Nathan Gonzalez tweeted.

Days until the 2018 election: 349.

Thanks for joining us! You can email tips to the Campaign Pro team at sbland@politico.com, eschneider@politico.com, krobillard@politico.com, dstrauss@politico.com and mseverns@politico.com

You can also follow us on Twitter: @politicoscott, @ec_schneider, @politicokevin, @danielstrauss4 and @maggieseverns.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Morning Score will not publish from Nov. 23-26. Our next Morning Score newsletter will publish on Nov. 27.

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GETTING THE NOD — EMILY’s List backs Kelly Mazeski in IL-06: EMILY’s List continues to weigh in on crowded primaries, this time backing Kelly Mazeski, who’s one of nine Democrats vying to take on GOP Rep. Peter Roskam. Last quarter, Mazeski raised more than any other Democratic candidate. Illinois Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Cheri Bustos also recently endorsed Mazeski.

MEANWHILE IN CONGRESS — “Conyers scandal rocks House Democrats” by POLITICO’s John Bresnahan and Heather Caygle: “House Democrats found themselves plunged into crisis on Tuesday, after reports surfaced that Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) secretly settled a sexual harassment claim with a staffer in 2015 — an episode that will now be investigated by the House Ethics Committee. … ‘I expressly and vehemently denied the allegations made against me, and continue to do so,’ he said in a statement. ‘My office resolved the allegations — with an express denial of liability — in order to save all involved from the rigors of protracted litigation.’ The 88-year-old Conyers — the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee — is one of the most high-profile lawmakers to be caught in the national furor over sexual harassment in the workplace, with a tidal wave of reports that have engulfed Hollywood, the media and now Congress.” Full story.

WADING IN — “Pence doles out first contributions ahead of 2018 elections” by Isenstadt: “Vice President Mike Pence is putting his imprint on the 2018 midterm elections, doling out contributions to three dozen Republican candidates — many of whom have been steadfast allies of the White House. Pence is cutting his first batch of checks through his newly formed political action committee, Great America Committee.” Full story and the complete list from POLITICO Playbook.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I expressly and vehemently denied the allegations made against me, and continue to do so,” — Rep. John Conyers in response to accusations that he sexually harassed a former aide.

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