NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers (R-OH 15) “took a brief victory lap … after locking down the last of four House special elections for his party. … ‘I’d love to see where their momentum is at 0 and 4,’ Stivers said when asked what the race said about Democrats’ prospects of taking the House in 2018. ‘They poured $33 million into this seat and came away short. That just goes to show you that when you spend $33 million but you talk about issues that the American people don’t believe, you can’t win.’” (Politico)
“In a nearly 1,600-word Wednesday morning memo” from DCCC Chair Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM 01) to DCCC “staff … the New Mexico congressman shared polling conducted between late March and mid-June showing Democrats in position to make gains in a handful of competitive seats held by Republicans. Explaining that in some cases the pollsters tested specific Democratic challengers against Republican incumbents, Lujan said “many incumbents — who won with double digits last cycle — would be in the race of their careers, including” Reps. Martha McSally (R-AZ 02), Brian Mast (R-FL 18), Kevin Yoder (R-KS 03), and Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ 11).
“Lujan also told staff that starting this week, senior aides and allies will be deployed into target districts to ramp up candidate recruitment, and that Lujan himself is planning trips to states including Maine, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Missouri.” (Politico)
LOOKING BACK. From former DCCC Chair Rahm Emanuel (D) and former White House policy adviser Bruce Reed: “So how can Democrats ensure that 2018 delivers the success they failed to achieve in 2016? The stakes are too high to rely entirely on one side’s enthusiasm or the other side’s disenchantment. … Democrats don’t just need to choose the right battles, they also need to choose credible candidates who can win them. Candidate quality may not make the difference in a place like Montana’s at-large district, where Greg Gianforte won handily just hours after assaulting a reporter. Winning hotly contested swing seats, however, requires candidates who closely match their districts—even if they don’t perfectly align with the national party’s activist base.” (The Atlantic)
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"US President Donald Trump will visit the UK in mid-July, according to Sky sources," with a formal announcement expected soon. "Mr Trump was due to open the new US Embassy in London in February but cancelled the trip saying the building was too expensive and tweeting that he was not a 'big fan' of the decision to move its location."
"North Korea’s underground nuclear test site has become unusable after a large part of it collapsed," say experts from the University of Science and Technology of China. "Their evidence comes just one week after a surprise announcement from leader Kim Jong Un that North Korea would stop nuclear tests." The finding contradicts the Trump Administration's claim that the closure was a major concession by North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, who is set to meet with him for talks with President Trump in May.
"Republicans on Wednesday will begin a push to change Senate rules in a way that would allow the faster confirmation of President Trump's nominees, after months of complaints that Democrats are dragging out the process. The Senate Rules Committee will meet in the afternoon to consider a resolution that would reduce post-cloture debate for most Executive Branch nominees from 30 hours to just 8 hours. The goal is to prevent Democrats from stretching out debate over several days."
Arizona Republican Debbie Lesko won a special election to fill the deep red seat Trent Franks retired from earlier this year. Unofficial balloting had her up 52.9% to 47.2%. This victory is a bit close for comfort, considering Donald Trump's 21-point victory there in 2016. This victory will do very little to calm GOP nerves five months before Election Day.
Apple CEO Tim Cook will meet with President Trump today, "at a time of heightened trade tensions between the U.S. and China with technology caught up in the spat. Both countries have proposed import tariffs on each others' products, but the U.S. has been tough on Chinese technology firms." China is an important market for Apple, and Cook is expected to bring up the worsening trade relationship.