"Instead of fixing our economy, politicians like Bill Nelson voted for billions in new taxes and racked up trillions in crushing debt," says the ad airing in Florida. The new spots, which begin today and run through August 6, have $1.6 million behind them in total spending on television and internet advertising and production. The ads underscore how significant a role the group is prepared to play in the Senate race landscape, in addition to aiding the Republican presidential nominee. 5) EMILY's List is endorsing Nevada Treasurer Kate Marshall, the Democratic nominee in Nevada's 2nd District special election. She now will receive active fundraising help from the Democratic group. Marshall faces GOP nominee Mark Amodei in the special election, which will be held September 13. 4) Debate is set to begin today in the South Carolina legislature over congressional redistricting amid reports of a potential bipartisan deal. At issue: Where to put the new district that the state is set to gain following the 2010 census. Republicans want a seat around Myrtle Beach that would favor them; Democrats have argued for a second heavily African American district. 3) Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner John McCulloch will drop his Michigan Senate bid and endorse former-Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., the Detroit Free Press reports. Hoekstra entered the race last week, after initially passing on the contest, and his entrance instantly gave Republicans a strong candidate against Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow. 2) The new United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection poll shows that voters aren't all that panicked about the possibility the government could default on its debt. A 45 percent plurality of those polled said their greater concern was that "raising the debt limit would lead to higher government spending and make the national debt bigger." Meanwhile, 43 percent said they were more concerned that "not raising the debt limit would force the government into default and hurt the nation's economy." And the possibility of default placed only a distant fourth when Americans were asked to rank the country's most pressing economic problem, behind unemployment, the rising cost of goods, and the size of the federal deficit. 1) Just another manic Monday: Obama and House Speaker John Boehner each took to the airwaves Monday night to discuss the debt ceiling debate. Obama warned that those who are blocking an increase in the federal debt ceiling are risking "a deep economic crisis," while Boehner shot back immediately, telling Obama "not so fast." National Journal's George Condon has the full recap. Yet there is still no final deal, with the Aug. 2 deadline looming. So what happens next? House and Senate leaders said votes could occur as early as Wednesday on competing proposals. -- Kathy Kiely contributed to this post
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