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Final Sprint in Neb. GOP Primaries; New Polls in Ark., Ga., Ky.; Kingston Launches GA SEN Ad Final Sprint in Neb. GOP Primaries; New Polls in Ark., Ga., Ky.; Kings...

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Final Sprint in Neb. GOP Primaries; New Polls in Ark., Ga., Ky.; Kingston Launches GA SEN Ad

Wake-Up Call! is Hotline's daily morning briefing on campaigns and elections. Click here to subscribe.

WHAT'S NEWS

  • In NE SEN, "independent groups have poured more than $3 million into the primary, using Nebraska's Senate hopefuls as pawns in a larger battle over the direction of the Republican Party. ... Tea Party-aligned groups are responsible for about 80 percent of the outside advertising." (Omaha World-Herald) The Citizens United Political Victory Fund is out with a new TV ad attacking banker Sid Dinsdale (R) for supporting an increase to the debt limit. The spot, which began running on Saturday and will continue to air through election day, is backed by a $100,000 buy. (Hotline reporting)
  • In NE GOV, Republicans "made their final push over the weekend as a hard-hitting primary campaign season finally comes to a close. Polling suggests that" 2006 SEN nominee Pete Ricketts (R) and Attorney General Jon Bruning (R) "remain locked in a dogfight for the top spot in the race." (Omaha World-Herald)
  • Final NE GOV ads: Ricketts delivers his closing argument in a positive 60-second spot; Bruning highlights the endorsement he received from Gov. Dave Heineman (R); state Sen. Beau McCoy (R) hits Ricketts and Bruning for "spending millions on endless negative attacks." (Hotline reporting)
  • In AK SEN, former Attorney General Dan Sullivan (R) released a new TV ad saying "Alaska needs a fighter again, not another talker." (release)
  • In GA SEN, Rep. Jack Kingston (R) released a new TV ad on Monday attacking President Obama's "backward priorities" on national defense, while touting his own efforts to protect Georgia's military installations. (release) Kingston also aired a TV ad that portrays businessman David Perdue (R) as a baby, as Perdue has done to his opponents in previous spots. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
  • Also in GA SEN, American Future Fund is out with a new TV ad supporting former Secretary of State Karen Handel (R) and dismissing her GOP opponents as "Washington talkers." (Politico)
  • Also in GA SEN, "the polling front-runners in both parties got the brunt of rising intensity in" a debate format "designed for combat -- with candidates allowed to question each other." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
  • In IA SEN, Rep. Bruce Braley (D) released a new biographical TV ad talking about his relationship with his mother and how she helped him get past his father's death when he was younger. (Hotline reporting)
  • In KY SEN, the Lexington Herald-Leader endorsed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the GOP primary. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
  • Also in KY SEN, Kentuckians for Strong Leadership is out with a new TV ad attacking Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) for supporting President Obama. (The Hill) For her part, Grimes raised $709,000 in April and has "slightly less than" $4.9 million cash on hand. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
  • In OR SEN, the Chamber of Commerce endorsed pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby (R). (The Hill)
  • In CA-07, former congressional aide Igor Birman (R) "is up with his second" TV ad of the primary, "skewering" former Rep. Doug Ose (R) "for what he characterizes as a liberal voting record." (Sacramento Bee)
  • In CA-17, the San Jose Mercury News endorsed former Obama administration official Ro Khanna (D) over Rep. Mike Honda (D). (San Jose Mercury News)
  • In FL-13, Marine Corps Reserve colonel Ed Jany (I) "boasts a degree from Madison University, a school often described as a diploma mill without a campus or classes, but which Jany insists is a legitimate institution. In his online Linked­In resume, Jany lists a degree from the University of Minnesota, which he attended from 1982 to 1986. ... Jany acknowledges he does not have the degree listed on Linked­In, but he said the website is set up in a way that does not allow for a more accurate description of his status at Minnesota. ... That, however, does not appear to be accurate." (Tampa Bay Times)
  • In GA-12, businessman Eugene Yu (R) "had loaned his campaign more than $736,000 as of April 30. But he did not list that much in liquid assets on his personal financial disclosure, and the income from his investments are a fraction of that amount." (Augusta Chronicle)
  • In ID-02, Rep. Mike Simpson (R) raised $193,000 in April and had $566,000 cash on hand, while attorney Bryan Smith (R) raised $104,000 and had $231,000 cash on hand. (Roll Call)
  • In PA-09, 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney (R) endorsed Rep. Bill Shuster (R). (release)
  • In PA-13, physician Val Arkoosh (D) loaned her campaign $700,000 in April, raised an additional $73,000 and has $430,000 cash on hand. Former Rep. Marjorie Margolies (D) raised $93,000 in April and had $151,000 cash on hand, while state Sen. Daylin Leach (D) raised $97,000 and has $279,000 cash on hand, and state Rep. Brendan Boyle (D) raised $35,000 and had $181,000 cash on hand. "Boyle and Leach both filed 48-hour reports with the FEC May 8 ... showing Boyle giving $40,000 and Leach $250,000 out of pocket to their respective campaigns." (Roll Call)
  • In CA GOV, former Treasury Department official Neel Kashkari (R) "donated an additional $500,000 of his own money to his campaign, bringing his self-funding total to $1 million." (Los Angeles Times)
  • In MA GOV, businessman Mark Fisher (R) "won his legal battle against the Massachusetts Republican Party Friday when a judge called for resolving a lawsuit by putting Fisher's name on the primary election ballot." (Boston Globe)
  • In MD GOV, the Washington Post endorsed Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) in the Democratic primary. (Washington Post)

NUMBER BRUNCHING

  • In AR SEN, a new NBC News-Marist poll of RVs, conducted April 30-May 4, shows Sen. Mark Pryor (D) leading Rep. Tom Cotton (R), 51-40%. (NBC News)
  • In AR GOV, the NBC News-Marist poll finds former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R) with a 49-42% edge over former Rep. Mike Ross (D). (NBC News)
  • In GA SEN, a new Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll of RVs, conducted May 5-8, shows philanthropist Michelle Nunn (D) ahead of each of her potential Republican opponents in the general election. Nunn leads Perdue, 45-44%, Handel, 48-39%, Kingston 48-38%, Rep. Paul Broun (R), 48-35%, and Rep. Phil Gingrey (R), 50-35%. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
  • Meanwhile, a new NBC News-Marist GA SEN poll of RVs, conducted April 30-May 5, shows Nunn trailing Perdue, 45-41%, and Broun, 43-42%. The poll also shows Nunn tied with Kingston at 43%, but leading Gingrey, 44-42%, and Handel, 42-39%. (NBC News)
  • As for the GA SEN GOP primary, the NBC News-Marist poll shows Perdue ahead among LVs with 23%, compared to 18% for Kingston, 14% for Handel, and 11% for both Broun and Gingrey. (NBC News)
  • In GA GOV, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll shows Gov. Nathan Deal (R) leading state Sen. Jason Carter (D), 46-43%. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
  • Also in GA GOV, the NBC-Marist poll finds Deal ahead of Carter by a larger 50-40% margin. (NBC News)
  • In KY SEN, a new NBC News-Marist poll of RVs, conducted April 30-May 6, shows McConnell with a slight 46-45% lead over Grimes. (NBC News)
  • As for the KY SEN GOP primary, McConnell leads businessman Matt Bevin (R), 57-25%. (NBC News)

OUR CALL

Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day

 

• It might be time for Republicans to get anxious about the Peach State. Michelle Nunn is sitting unscathed on a massive warchest, the Republican primary is getting increasingly ugly, and a new poll finds all but one of the GOP Senate hopefuls trailing badly in hypothetical general election matchups. A new NBC-Marist poll, however, shows a much closer race. Either way, with a late July run-off looming, Republicans won't be able to turn their full attention to Nunn for another few months. -- Alex Roarty

• Comments made over the weekend by three potential Republican presidential candidates shed further light on where they see opportunities to make inroads with different groups of voters ahead of a 2016 campaign. Rand Paul suggested that the GOP's voter ID push is "offending people" as he continues his minority outreach efforts. Rick Santorum, vying for blue-collar support, again bucked his party on the minimum wage. Meanwhile, Marco Rubio is attempting to win over voters on the right: He expressed skepticism over the impact human activity is having on climate change, while Reuters reports that Rubio's office is working with Heritage Action -- which opposed the immigration bill he was behind -- to craft policy proposals. -- Adam Wollner

• The Democratic strategy to spend money early to define GOP challengers negatively is working, at least in Arkansas. Cotton has underwater favorables (38/39) in the new NBC-Marist poll, with Pryor's personal favorability remains solid (50/35). Pryor's standing also illustrates the benefits of incumbency, illustrating how a well-liked incumbent can weather an unfavorable national environment. -- Josh Kraushaar

• This weekend's new poll from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows the Senate race in Georgia isn't the only one worth watching, as things are looking close in the race between Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and Democrat Jason Carter. (The NBC-Marist poll showed a wider spread.) One interesting finding in the AJC poll: Jimmy Carter may not be as toxic to his grandson's campaign as some speculated. The former president has a 61% favorability rating in his home state. -- Karyn Bruggeman

• This week's primaries offers tea party forces a good chance to avenge last week's loss in North Carolina. Major conservative outside groups have all rallied around Midland University President Ben Sasse in Nebraska, spending around $2.5 million backing his Senate candidacy. He may be their best shot this year, raising the stakes even higher in a state that has been known to deliver surprises. -- Andrea Drusch

HAIR OF THE DOG

    "An unusual string of car break-ins has brought in officials from New Hampshire Fish and Game because the likely burglar is a bear." (WMUR-TV)

FRESH BREWED BUZZ

  • "Everybody's gone completely crazy on this voter ID thing. I think it's wrong for Republicans to go too crazy on this issue because it's offending people." -- Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) (New York Times)
  • When asked "if he's ready to be president," Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) "answered without hesitation." Rubio: "I do ... but I think that’s true for multiple other people that would want to run ... I mean, I'll be 43 this month, but the other thing that perhaps people don't realize, I've served now in public office for the better part of 14 years." (ABC News)
  • "As Jeb Bush eyes 2016, key question is how a presidential campaign would affect his family" (Washington Post)
  • "The state's top lawyer will ask the Arkansas Supreme Court to review a lower court's decision to overturn a 2004 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage." Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (D) "announced his intent to appeal to the high court late Saturday night, but not before 15 licenses were issued for same-sex couples in northwest Arkansas' Carroll County, heralding the arrival of gay marriage in the Bible Belt." (AP)
  • "Just a few miles from his family home," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor "felt the wrath of the tea party Saturday, when activists in his congressional district booed and heckled the second-most powerful House Republican." (Washington Post)
  • "The ex-campaign manager for" Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI) "has sued the congressman and has asked a judge to stop Bentivolio from spending $129,499 in campaign money he says is owed him." (Detroit News)
  • GA SEN candidate/Rep. Paul Broun's (R) 23-year-old son "was booked into the Clarke County Jail Saturday morning on misdemeanor drug and traffic charges, according to jail records." (Athens Banner-Herald)
  • "Former Wisconsin Gov. Patrick Lucey, a hard-nosed Democratic politician who later became the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, has died. He was 96. Lucey ... also ran for vice president ... as an independent in 1980." (AP)
  • Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) "wants to be a 'productive conservative' on the radio dial who fosters 'smart debate' during the daily show he will host after leaving Congress in January." (AP)
  • "Sometimes" Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "is crazy like a fox. But sometimes he's just crazy." (Ralston Reports)
  • Rep. John Mica (R-FL) "brought a fake joint to a House oversight hearing on Friday on Washington, D.C.'s new law decriminalizing marijuana." (Huffington Post)
  • "Since Pennsylvania changed the law in 1968 to allow its governor to serve two consecutive terms, no incumbent has been denied re-election. But" Gov. Tom Corbett (R) "is in danger of becoming the first. Explanations have turned as much to the governor's personality as his policies. Even his chief re-election strategist, John Brabender, said ... Corbett suffered by comparison to the governor next door, who, for better or worse, captures attention." (New York Times)

PLAY OF THE DAY!

How to Apply 'Game of Thrones' to Your Political Maneuvers

 

ROOSTER'S CROW

  • The National Park Service holds a reopening ceremony for the Washington Monument. (10 a.m.)
  • Obama meets with President Jose Mujica Cordano of Uruguay. Vice President Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry also attend. (White House, 11 a.m.)
  • First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden deliver remarks at a Joining Forces event in honor military mothers. (White House, 11 a.m.)
  • The Senate returns at 2 p.m.
  • Obama hosts an event to honor the 2014 National Association of Police Organizations TOP COPS award winners. (White House, 5:25 p.m.)
  • Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!

SWIZZLE CHALLENGE

  • President Obama has not visited Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, South Carolina or Utah since taking office.
  • The winner is Joe Bookman, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Name 3 presidents who were born after their father had died." The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.

NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS

SHOT...

"Obama Makes Wal-Mart an Example to Push Energy Efficiency" (Bloomberg News)

...CHASER

"I won't shop there." -- Obama, referring to Wal-Mart, in 2007 (Chicago Sun-Times)

Adam Wollner, Editor

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