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Poll: Health Care a Top Issue For Midterm Voters
Both nationally and in Florida and Nevada, voters focused on health care

Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., right, and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., are running for re-election amid a national electorate focused on health care. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A majority of individuals rank health care as a “very important” issue in determining who they plan to vote for, according to a new poll that looks at prospective voters nationally as well as in two key battleground states.

Thirty percent of those polled nationally selected health care as the “most important” issue, outranking the economy, immigration, and gun policy, according to data from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

Report Casts Doubt on ‘Unhinged’ Duncan Hunter Ad
An attack ad looks to tie his opponent to terrorism through a Muslim civil rights group

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., walks down the House steps after final votes of the week in the Capitol on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A report Friday raises new doubts about Rep. Duncan Hunter’s claim that his opponent accepted contributions from an Islamic advocacy group, intensifying criticisms that the congressman has relied on a racist line of attack based on Democratic opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar’s Palestinian heritage in the final stretch of his campaign.

An attack ad casts Democrat Campa-Najjar’s contributions from the Council on American-Islamic Relations as part of a “well-orchestrated plan to infiltrate Congress.”

Lawyer With Ties to Jim Renacci Releases Unnamed Sherrod Brown Accuser’s Statement
Brown campaign issues cease and desist letter against ‘unsubstantiated and false claims about something that never happened’

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, issued a cease and desist letter to his Senate campaign opponent, Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, advising him not to continue issuing claims of sexual misconduct by Brown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawyer Laura Mills released a statement Thursday through Ohio Republican Senate candidate Jim Renacci’s campaign providing more details on a sexual misconduct allegation against Sen. Sherrod Brown stemming from an incident in the late 1980s.

The Ohio Democrat has previously called Renacci’s unsubstantiated claims of improper sexual conduct by him “desperate.”

Mia Love to Challenger: ‘Pull Out’ of Race Over Fundraising Kerfuffle
Utah GOP rep claims she is in the clear over primary fundraising — Democrats say otherwise

Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, urged her Democratic opponent to drop out of the race. He declined. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Utah Rep. Mia Love urged her Democratic opponent in a race that is virtually tied, per the latest polling, to drop out just 19 days before the midterm elections on Nov. 6.

Naturally, her opponent, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, declined.

Brat to Inmates: ‘You Think You’re Having a Hard Time...’
Opponent Abigail Spanberger calls his remarks ‘an affront’ to those struggling with addictions

Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At a listening session with inmates recovering from substance abuse this week, Rep. Dave Brat pivoted the conversation to his own re-election race.

“You think you’re having a hard time — I’ve got $5 million worth of negative ads coming at me,” the Virginia Republican said. “How do you think I’m feeling? Nothing’s easy. For anybody.”

Hurricanes Stir Up Toxic Legacy of Coal-Fired Power Plants
Trump administration has worked to roll back federal coal ash regulations

A coal ash pond at Buck Steam Station in Salisbury, N.C. (Courtesy Les Stone/Greenpeace)

After Hurricane Florence deposited its last drop of rain on the Carolinas, the worst of the flooding was still to come as water made its way down mountainsides, through gullies and into creeks and accumulated in the Cape Fear River.

Spilling over the river’s banks, the water reached and breached a cooling lake used by Charlotte-based Duke Energy’s L.V. Sutton power plant in Wilmington, North Carolina. From there it flowed over one of the three surrounding coal ash disposal sites, prompting fears that the cancer-causing byproduct of bygone coal operations could be flowing through a major groundwater system.

Budget Overhaul Proposals Likely to Stay in Play After Nov. 30
Joint Committee expected to offer recommendations next month

House Budget Chairman Steve Womack, R-Ark., says that proposals that aren’t accepted by other lawmakers could work their way into future legislation. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The legislative proposals under development by the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform could enjoy a life of their own after the special panel’s work is done later this year.

Members of the 16-member bicameral committee are hoping to agree on a package of proposed changes to improve the budget process by a Nov. 30 deadline, allowing their recommendations to be submitted to Congress for action.

Messing With Texas, Midterm Edition
In the Lone Star State, it’s not just about Beto and Cruz

A woman flies a Texas flag at a 2005 rally in the Upper Senate Park. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Yes, the Texas Senate race between Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke gets a 72-ounce steak’s worth of attention in politics, what with Willie Nelson and President Donald Trump weighing in with their preferences and all. 

But regardless of who emerges from that Texas two-step, several other races will go a long way toward determining the House majority, and whether the Lone Star State might be moving toward swing/purple status. 

Trump Praises Gianforte for Physically Assaulting Reporter
‘Any guy who can do a body slam — he’s my guy,’ president says

Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte is running for his first full term this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Thursday praised Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte for physically assaulting a reporter on the eve of a special election last year.

Addressing a rally in Missoula on his third trip to Montana this year, Trump at first only alluded to the 2017 incident. “Never wrestle him,” he said after calling Gianforte onstage.

Rosenstein Agrees to Sit for Transcribed Interview With Judiciary, Oversight Leaders
Freedom Caucus, rank-and-file panel members will not be able to participate

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will sit for a transcribed interview with House Judiciary and Oversight committee leaders on Oct. 24. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has agreed to sit for a transcribed interview with leaders of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees Oct. 24, the panels’ chairmen announced Thursday evening.

The announcement comes just hours after House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, an Oversight subcommittee chairman, called on Rosenstein to resign, citing his unwillingness to cooperate with the panels’ investigation.