With Kevin Robillard and Daniel Strauss

The following newsletter is an abridged version of Campaign Pro’s Morning Score. For an earlier morning read on exponentially more races — and for a more comprehensive aggregation of the day’s most important campaign news — sign up for Campaign Pro today. (http://www.politicopro.com/proinfo)

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NEW THIS MORNING — AAN spends $250K pushing tax reform with new digital ads: The GOP nonprofit tied to House leadership is spending a quarter-million on the second in a series of digital ads pushing the need for tax reform. The ad again stars economist and American Action Forum President Douglas Holtz-Eakin. The ad will run on Google, YouTube and Facebook over the next two weeks. “You often hear that corporations need tax reform, but why?,” Holtz-Eakin says direct to camera. “Growth is the biggest problem facing the United States. Our anemic rate of economic growth is depressing wages and harming the standard of living. The corporation income tax has been shown to be the single most anti-growth tax.” Watch the ad here.

LAUNCHING TODAY — Ben Jealous is launching his bid for Maryland governor. Jealous, the former NAACP president who became a prominent backer of Bernie Sanders last year, is set to make an announcement at 11 a.m. Democrat Alec Ross, a former Obama and Clinton aide, is also running to take on GOP Gov. Larry Hogan. Here’s his launch video.

INTERNAL POLLING FLOAT — “Democratic poll: Party has a shot in sleepy South Carolina race,” by The Washington Post’s David Weigel: “The Democrat running for Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney’s vacant South Carolina House seat claims to be putting it into play, with an internal poll showing him 10 points down in an environment where Republicans are less likely to vote. A poll from Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, completed on May 25 and obtained by The Post, has Democrat Archie Parnell down by 10 points to Ralph Norman, a state legislator making his second run at the rural and suburban seat. That’s a six-point bump for Parnell since March, when he began running TV ads, and it’s closer than the margin in Mulvaney’s last few races or the last presidential elections in South Carolina’s 5th District.” Full story.

— AND ICYMI — Parnell spoofed “House of Cards” in themed web video: Parnell, a tax attorney, hoped to show of a lighter side, promising to be a “matador” for the district. Watch the video here. (But like, Veep is so much better, right?)

ARTICLE ONE — “Support for Trump impeachment rises,” by POLITICO’s Steve Shepard: “An increasing percentage of voters want Congress to impeach President Donald Trump — even if they don’t think Trump has committed the ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ the Constitution requires. Forty-three percent of voters want Congress to begin impeachment proceedings, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, up from 38 percent last week. ‘If President Trump was hoping his foreign trip would shift the conversation away from scandals, he may be out of luck,’ said Morning Consult Co-Founder and Chief Research Officer Kyle Dropp. ‘Over the last week, support for beginning impeachment proceedings among voters rose from 38 percent to 43 percent.’ But that’s still less than the 45 percent who don’t want Congress to impeach Trump, down a tick from 46 percent the week before. Only three American presidents in history have faced legitimate impeachment threats.” Full story.

Days until the 2017 election: 159.

Days until the 2018 election: 523.

Thanks for joining us.You can email tips to the Campaign Pro team at sbland@politico.com, eschneider@politico.com, krobillard@politico.com and dstrauss@politico.com.

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INSERT FOOTBALL PUN — “The Football Rivalry That Could Decide the Alabama Senate Race,” by Campaign Pro’s Daniel Strauss in POLITICO Magazine: “At first glance, Alabama Senator Luther Strange has everything going for him headed into the special election for his seat. … But there’s someone who could make life complicated for Strange, and it’s not an actual candidate. Though almost a dozen Republicans filed to run in the Republican primary and nearly that number signed up on the Democratic side, the biggest threat to Strange’s bid is a burly man whose love of Auburn football is matched only by his grudge against Strange, who draws support from University of Alabama territory.” Full story.

AIR WAR — Latest Ossoff ad defends national security credentials: “Democrat Jon Ossoff’s latest TV ad hits back against Republican attacks that he’s puffing up his national security resume, as one TV ad from Republican Karen Handel says Ossoff “intentionally misled us to get our vote” in Georgia’s special House election.” Watch Ossoff’s ad here. Full story.

— Northam, Perriello release new ads in Virginia governor primary: “Both Democratic candidates for governor of Virginia released new TV ads today, two weeks out from the state’s primary. Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam’s new ad focuses on his work as a pediatrician, with him speaking direct-to-camera while wearing a white coat and shots of him holding small children. …Periello’s ad is similar to one he’s already aired, opening with footage of President Barack Obama praising him at a rally in Charlottesville in 2010. But when the ad cuts to Perriello speaking direct-to-camera, he addresses his policy priorities as governor instead of his biography, as he did in an earlier spot.” Watch Northam’s ad here. Watch Periello’s ad here. Full story.

PLAYBOOK THEFT — Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman report on Claire McCaskill’s Cancun adventure: “Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) paid more than $15,000 for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and their spouses to spend a few days in Cancun in February 2016. Recently filed financial disclosure documents show McCaskill paid $8,235.11 for Schumer and his wife to travel, stay and eat in Mexico, and $7,410.27 for Tester and his wife to take the trip. Schumer traveled from Dallas and returned to Houston, Schumer’s wife traveled from New York and Tester and his wife from Great Falls, Montana.”

GROUP THERAPY — Judge launches progressive nonprofit focused on rural America: Democrat Patty Judge, the former Iowa lieutenant governor who lost to GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley in 2016, is launching a new nonprofit focused on pitching progressive policies to rural voters. “In recent years there has been a massive shift in how rural Americans participate in the electoral process,” said Sam Roecker, an advisor to the group. “The goal of Focus on Rural America is to investigate this shift, engage rural communities in a discussion about the issues that motivate them, and develop a positive progressive message that will resonate in rural America.” The group recently held focus groups with rural Iowans who backed President Donald Trump in 2016 after voting for former President Barack Obama in 2012. Read their report here.

— “New Democratic group has strategy to un-Pelosi the party,” by Vox’s Jeff Stein: “[T]hree House Democrats are backing a new political organization that aims to give progressive candidates in the Midwest and Appalachia a new form of support that isn’t dependent on the Democratic Party’s coastal financial elite. The People’s House Project, founded by former MSNBC host and 2010 Virginia congressional candidate Krystal Ball, has begun interviewing candidates and recruiting donors … One potential problem identified by some political analysts is the ability of Republicans to run attack ads tying Democrats to the party’s coastal and culturally liberal wing. … ‘[Pelosi’s] an impediment to every House Democrat in the country except for a few coastal enclaves,’ Ball said in an interview.” Full story.


Ted Cruz
endorsed Josh Mandel
for Senate in Ohio Tuesday. Sen.

Rob Portman
also backed Mandel last week, as rumors swirl about some Republicans looking for a Mandel alternative since Rep. Pat Tiberi decided not to run.

FAMILY FIGHTS — “To shake up the Democratic Party, progressives turn to a primary race in Virginia,” by The Washington Post’s Fenit Nirappil and Karen Tumulty: “Virginia lawmaker Marcia Price has her lefty political idols. She broke with every other Democrat in the state legislature last year to endorse Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. But when it comes to her state’s June gubernatorial primary, Price wants her liberal heroes to butt out. …With two weeks to go before the primary, Virginia has become the center of a family dispute between national progressive Democrats and state activists over the identity and future of the Democratic Party.” Full story.

FUNDRAISING REPORT — Read Issue One’s report on just how much “A” committee fundraising is going toward campaign committee dues here.

ADMINISTRATION SPEED READ — “Russia probe scares off potential appointees,” by POLITICO’s Andrew Restuccia and Josh Dawsey: “President Donald Trump’s effort to fill hundreds of vacant jobs across the federal government has hit a new snag: Russia. Potential hires are paying close attention to the expanding investigations, which have now begun to touch senior Trump aides, with some questioning whether they want to join the administration. Four people who work closely with prospective nominees told POLITICO that some potential hires are having second thoughts about trying to land executive branch appointments as federal and congressional investigations threaten to pose a serious distraction to Trump’s agenda.” Full story.

CODA — QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Government sometimes looks like a big bureaucracy that has stupid rules, but a lot of these things are in place for very good reasons and they’ve been around for a while and determine the most effective way to do business in the foreign policy sphere. Sometimes it takes presidents longer to figure that out.” — Ashley Deeks, a University of Virginia law professor, addressing the news that President Trump is asking world leaders to call him on his personal cell phone, The Associated Press reported. It has also prompted many Drake memes.

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