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- House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) "path to winning next Thursday's special election" to replace outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) "still has obstacles," but McCarthy looks poised to overcome them. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) "is quietly considering a campaign for House majority leader, according to a source familiar with the congressman's thinking," as Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) took himself out of the running Wednesday and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) decided not to run. (National Journal)
- Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) "is close to clinching enough support to sew up the race for majority whip, allies of the Louisiana Republican said Thursday, aggressively dismissing the impact of" Rep. Marlin Stutzman's (R-IN) "entrance into the race." Stutzman could splinter "the conservative vote" against Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), whose aides disputed Scalise's numbers. (National Journal)
- In CO SEN, "President Obama is coming to Denver July 9 to help raise money for" Sen. Mark Udall (D) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. (Denver Post)
- In MS SEN, a new TV ad for Sen. Thad Cochran's (R) campaign features former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R) carrying Cochran's "campaign theme that he will use his seniority and clout to do 'more for Mississippi.'" (Jackson Clarion-Ledger)
- In GA SEN, the National Rifle Association's political arm endorsed Rep. Jack Kingston (R) ahead of the GOP primary runoff. (release)
- In MI-03, the state Chamber of Commerce is endorsing businessman Brian Ellis (R) over Rep. Justin Amash (R), joining the Grand Rapids Chamber and Right to Life of Michigan, "one of the most powerful Republican-leaning groups in the state," on Ellis's side against the incumbent. (Detroit Free Press)
- In NY-11, Rep. Michael Grimm (R) "has raised just $44,000 for his reelection bid since April, as his fundraising dried up in the wake of his late April indictment. ... In the same period, Grimm spent $214,397 -- with the largest single expense a $40,000 payment to his attorneys at Patton Boggs." Former New York City Councilman Domenic Recchia (D) "raised $144,364 in the same period" and has over $1 million banked. (New York Daily News)
- In CO-06, former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D) "raised about $465,000 from April 1 until June 4," the pre-primary period, while Rep. Mike Coffman (R) "brought in about $336,600. Romanoff ... now has about $2.3 million in the bank compared to Coffman's $1.96 million." (Denver Post)
- Vice President Joe Biden (D) "made a last-minute appearance Wednesday night at a fundraiser for" SC GOV nominee Vincent Sheheen (D) "at which" Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) "was a star attraction." (Politico)
- On the House airwaves: In AZ-02, 2012 nominee Martha McSally (R) released her first TV ad, featuring her military service. (Arizona Daily Star) Rep. Ron Barber (D) leads McSally in a new Democratic poll commissioned by House Majority PAC. (Hotline reporting)
- In FL-02, attorney Gwen Graham (D) "will begin her television ad campaign next week" with "$100,00 in the Tallahassee and Panama City media markets for two weeks." (Roll Call)
- In HI GOV, Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) trails state Sen. David Ige (D) in an automated poll of the Democratic primary. (Honolulu Civil Beat)
- In MA GOV, "Democrats will gather for their state convention Saturday facing a dynamic rarely seen in the gubernatorial race: a front-runner likely to lose the convention and a convention winner who lags far behind in the polls." (Boston Globe)
- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) and "Fresh Air" host Terry Gross went 10 rounds on Clinton's views on same-sex marriage -- and when and why they changed -- in an interview that aired Thursday as part of Clinton's book tour. (NPR)
- In 2016 polling from Bloomberg, Clinton's favorability rating was 52%, a fall from 56% in March and 70% at the end of 2012. "She still bests" Repubilcans "in head-to-head matchups" but "doesn't have majority support against any of them." (Bloomberg)
- In MA GOV, a new Boston Globe/SocialSphere poll of LVs showed Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) leads the Democratic primary 49%-14% over state Treasurer Steve Grossman (D) and the general election 42%-31% over 2010 nominee Charlie Baker (R). (Boston Globe)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• Among the candidates who might want to check in with their pollsters after Rep. Eric Cantor's surprise upset Tuesday: Oregon neurosurgeon Monica Wehby (R). Her internal poll from the Tarrance Group showed her trailing Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) by just two points, a little different than the other data points on the race. That's the difficulty with judging internal polling: What's an early indicator, and what's an outlier? -- Andrea Drusch
• Of all the pre-primary fundraising reports coming in today, the most consequential is in a race with no primary competition. There's still plenty of time before CO-06 heats up, but yesterday's FEC reports, with Coffman and Romanoff continuing to rake in money, offer a glimpse of how competitive and expensive this House race will be. -- Jack Fitzpatrick
• Hawaii is notoriously difficult to survey, and we prefer live-caller polls. But the latest robopoll there shows that Republicans aren't the only incumbents worrying about primaries right now. This is actually the third poll showing Abercrombie running behind in his race for renomination, and the three-way general election against a Republican and a former Democrat is looking daunting, too. -- Karyn Bruggeman
HAIR OF THE DOG
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- In a Post profile of McCarthy: Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) "has his reasons to spurn McCarthy's entreaties, beginning with the whip's decision after the 2012 elections to remove Schweikert and three others from their top committee assignments for actions perceived as disloyal. But McCarthy reached out to the Arizonan last year over their shared interest in the existence of an unusual desert fungi in their respective districts ... and now Schweikert is considering voting for the man who exiled him from his top committee spot for majority leader." (Washington Post)
- Another profile out last night: "McCarthy, 49, maintains a regular presence in Bakersfield, a conservative city in the San Joaquin Valley whose economy relies heavily on agriculture and oil." (Los Angeles Times)
- "Chris Christie dances with Jimmy Fallon on 'The Tonight Show'" (Newark Star-Ledger)
- "A supporter of" Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox (D) in AZ-07 "has withdrawn a lawsuit against Wilcox's foremost rival," state Rep. Ruben Gallego (D), "that accused him of misrepresenting his name on the primary ballot," alleging he had adopted his mother's maiden name without legally changing it, which was incorrect. "In a statement filed after its withdrawal, Wilcox did not apologize for the lawsuit but said simply that a search of records did not reveal Gallego's legal name-change because of a clerical error by the court." (Arizona Republic)
- "It was an adventure to be out there in the country and to see what goes on. Picking up pecans, from that to all kinds of indecent things with animals." -- Thad Cochran, joking with a campaign audience at an event. (Jackson Clarion-Ledger)
- Former MA Sen. Scott Brown's (R) campaign "sent a news release Wednesday questioning why" Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) "wasn't appearing with President Obama while he was 'in town.' But Obama was in Worcester, Mass., about 50 miles from the New Hampshire border." (Washington Post)
- "Longtime Cantor adviser Ray Allen, in his first interview since Cantor was stunned" in his primary, said "that he believed Cantor was a victim of meddling from Democrats who crossed over in the primary to vote against him." (The Hill)
- "Eric Cantor Blames Democrats For Defeat, Supporter Says" (BuzzFeed)
- George H.W. Bush celebrated turning 90 Thursday by going skydiving. ("Today Show")
- Mitt Romney's "political stock will be on display this week as he hosts his annual 'ideas summit' in Park City, Utah, a private event that features a handful of presidential contenders ... Romney so far this year has endorsed 29 candidates running for statewide office or Congress across 23 states, according to his office," with a 12/12 record in primaries so far. (AP)
- IL GOV nominee Bruce Rauner (R) "displayed three barnyard chickens in a wire cage" as a prop during a presentation "of proposed cuts that he maintained would save taxpayers $1 billion." (Chicago Tribune) It appears to have gone better than 2012 WI SEN candidate Mark Neumann's (R) squeal-shortened press conference with a pig two years ago.
- The House meets at 11 a.m. in a pro forma session. The Senate is out.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce continues its 10th annual, three-day America's Small Business Summit (Omni Shoreham Hotel).
- America's Voice holds a conference call briefing on "Cantor, Graham, and Immigration Reform: What the Tale of Two Primaries Means for 2014, 2016, and Beyond" (noon).
- President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive in North Dakota to visit the Standing Sioux Tribe (Bismarck, N.D., 2:45 p.m. EDT).
- Clinton talks about her book, "Hard Choices," at a sold-out event hosted by Politics & Prose (George Washington University Lisner Auditorium, 6 p.m.)
- Christie hosts a Facebook Q&A (Facebook, 6:30 p.m.)
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) is the only House Republican whose district borders Mexico.
- The winner is Jennifer Cervantes, and here's her Swizzle Challenge: How many sites served as temporary capitals of Texas in 1836? (Bonus if you can name the sites.) The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- Eric Cantor's Loss Was a Fluke, But It Still Reshapes 2014
- What Eric Cantor's Defeat Means for Hillary Clinton
- The Fox, the Hedgehog, and the Millennials
- How a New Class of Activists Is Changing Immigration Politics
- Eric Cantor's Untended Fences
"I need a few days to decompress after that election." -- VA-07 nominee David Brat (R) (CNN)
George Costanza: "Jerry, my vacation just started. I need a day or two to decompress. Besides, I did plenty today."
Jerry Seinfeld: "Like what?"
George: "I bought a new recliner with a fridge built right into it." (Seinfeld)
Scott Bland, Editor-in-Chief
Alex Roarty, Chief Political Correspondent