Updated at 8:30 a.m.
TAMPA, Fla. -- Welcome back to Hotline Sort. A federal court overturns the Texas Congressional map, Tester distances himself from the president, the NRSC cuts money from the New Mexico Senate race, Schweikert and Gosar are the big winners in Arizona, and Mia Love makes her mark in Tampa.
10) In a lengthy, sweeping decision, a federal court in Washington on Tuesday unanimously struck down Texas' new congressional map, ruling that the plan was enacted with "discriminatory purpose" against Hispanics protected under the Voting Rights Act. The ruling will not affect this year's elections, but barring successful appeal, Texas would have to redraw its maps before 2014.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has pledged an appeal to the Supreme Court, but if he doesn't prevail, GOP Reps. Quico Canseco and Blake Farenthold would become much more vulnerable after this year's elections.
9) Democrats took out a newspaper ad in the Tampa Tribune, slipping Akin's name into a doctored logo of the Republican party ticket. It's the latest effort Democrats have made to connect the embattled Missouri Senate candidate to the presidential ticket.
8) In the end, it wasn't even close. Despite spending millions of his own money against Rep. Jeff Flake in the primary, businessman Wil Cardon only mustered 21 percent of the vote. (Flake took 69 percent, a solid showing heading into the general against Democratic Richard Carmona.)
7) Rep. David Schweikert defeated Rep. Ben Quayle Tuesday night, claiming a narrow victory after a nasty battle for the Republican nomination in Arizona's 6th District.
And in the 4th District, freshman GOP Rep. Paul Gosar survived a primary challenge from state Sen. Ron Gould, whose campaign was backed by over $600,000 from the Club for Growth's super PAC.
6) Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., is up with a new ad, where he brags that he's "taking on the Obama administration" - touting his support of the Keystone XL pipeline and balanced budgets. It's a $100,000 ad buy on broadcast and cable in Montana.
5) Majority PAC is up with an ad in the Wisconsin Senate race, attacking former Gov. Tommy Thompson
for his connections as a Washington insider. "If you think Tommy Thompson's representing special interests instead of our interests, that's right on the money - and wrong for Wisconsin," a narrator says in the spot. It's now the sixth state that the Democratic super PAC is airing Senate ads in, adding to Indiana, Florida, Ohio, North Dakota, and Virginia.
4) The National Republican Senatorial Committee has significantly scaled back its advertising in New Mexico and Missouri, a senior GOP Senate operative confirmed to Hotline
, a sign that the Republicans' path to a Senate majority is narrowing significantly. Instead, the committee is doubling down its efforts in North Dakota, a state that months ago looked like a sure hold.
Former New Mexico Rep. Heather Wilson
was one of the party's most highly-touted recruits, but polls have shown her trailing Rep. Martin Heinrich
. The biggest recruiting challenge for the GOP - two of their strongest candidates (Wilson and former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle
) are running in two Democratic-friendly states this year.
3) President Obama has tapped
Sen. John Kerry
, D-Mass., to give a meaty foreign policy speech at the final night of the Democratic National Convention next month - as part of a daylong focus on national security. Kerry has been mentioned as a possible successor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
, if the president is re-elected.
2) The New York Times takes keen interest
in Paul Ryan's past work as a waiter in the early-1990s at Tortilla Coast, the popular Mexican restaurant/watering hole on Capitol Hill. Its profile of Ryan today leads with an anecdote of his work there, with more frequently peppered throughout the story.
Ryan kept a tight lid on details about his speech tonight accepting the vice presidential nomination, pointing only to his evolving campaign remarks as a guide. Ryan huddled with top advisers as he flew to Tampa on Tuesday to finish what will arguably be the biggest speech of his career. On the stump, Ryan has framed the election as a choice between what he calls President Obama's European-like policies and Republican Mitt Romney's embrace of free-market principles.
1) Republicans showcased one of their top Congressional recruits last night at the convention, in Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love
, who is challenging Rep. Jim Matheson
, D-Utah. Love, who would be the first black Republican woman in the House of Representatives, spoke around 7:15 p.m., giving a speech infused with American exceptionalism. "Our story has been told over 200 years, with small steps and giant leaps, from a woman on a bus to a man with a dream," she said.
"It was a solid performance that energized the crowd on the convention floor, and it confirmed for a national television audience what delegates to the Republican state convention learned earlier this year: Mia Love is a poised, articulate, animated speaker and a formidable candidate," the Salt Lake Tribune wrote in an op-ed
For full Republican National Convention coverage, check out NationalJournal.com.
Scott Bland and Steven Shepard contributed