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Sherrod Brown: ‘Desperate’ Sexual Assault Claims Won’t Work
Challenger Jim Renacci says, without evidence, that he’s heard accusations from multiple women

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, labeled his midterm election opponent, Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, “desperate” for levying allegations of sexual assault against him. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Sherrod Brown summarily dismissed unsubstantiated allegations of sexual assault levied against him by his opponent in the upcoming midterms, Rep. Jim Renacci, labeling the Ohio Republican’s claims “desperate.”

“Congressman Renacci’s failed and desperate campaign gets worse every day,” Brown’s campaign said in a statement, multiple outlets reported Wednesday.

Taylor Swift Endorsement Like ‘Manna From Heaven,’ Says Tennessee Congressman
Democrat Jim Cooper: It’s ‘one of the great honors’ of my life

Taylor Swift endorsed Tennessee governor and Senate hopeful Democrat Phil Bredesen, among others, in an Instagram post this week. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images for TAS)

Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper likened Taylor Swift’s surprise endorsement to “manna from heaven” and deemed it “one of the great honors” of his life in an interview with The Associated Press Wednesday.

“I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives,” the pop star wrote to her 112 million Instagram followers on Oct. 7, two days before the voter registration deadline in Tennessee. “Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values.”

The Case of the Missing President — in House Debates
Candidates may want to avoid him, but election is still a referendum on Trump

The recent debate in Virginia’s 7th District between GOP Rep. Dave Brat and Democrat Abigail Spanberger revolved around both candidates taking a vow of silence regarding the president, Shapiro writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Judging from two House debates this week in hotly contested races on both sides of the country, you would think that the president of the United States was a shadowy, off-stage figure whose personality and politics are barely worth discussing. Even “The Invisible Man” of the 1897 H.G. Wells novel and the 1933 Claude Rains movie had more of a corporal presence than Donald Trump.

During the one-hour debate in Utah’s 4th district in suburban Salt Lake City, the word Trump was not mentioned until the 45-minute mark when the moderator blurted out the president’s name in a question on tariffs.

Blumenauer Sends Blunt Marijuana Blueprint to Democratic Leadership
Goal is to have Congress pass legislation by the end of 2019

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., wants Democrats to legalize marijuana if they take back the House majority. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, one of Congress’s most vocal marijuana proponents, sent Democratic leadership a memo Wednesday outlining steps Congress should take to legalize the Schedule I drug.

“Congress is out of step with the American people and the states on cannabis,” Blumenauer wrote in the memo, citing polling showing that 69 percent of registered voters support legalizing marijuana. “We have an opportunity to correct course if Democrats win big in November.”

Democrats Spin McConnell Entitlement Comments Into Political Messaging
McConnell says Republicans cannot tackle program on their own but Democrats warn of GOP action

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., says a vote for the GOP is a vote to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, spinning Senate Majority McConnell’s comments that Republicans can’t execute that goal on their own. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats are spinning comments Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently made on overhauling entitlements to craft a political message that electing Republicans will lead to cuts in safety net programs. 

“Sen. McConnell gave the game up in his comment yesterday,” Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said on a press call Wednesday. “It was very clear from what he said that a vote for Republican candidates in this election is a vote to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. That’s what he said.”

Markwayne Mullin Says He’ll Fight Avenatti
Oklahoma congressman responds to Trump antagonist’s challenge to Donald Trump Jr.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., said he’s ready to climb into the cage with lawyer Michael Avenatti after he challenged Donald Trump Jr. to a mixed martial arts fight. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, a former professional mixed martial arts fighter, challenged Democratic lawyer Michael Avenatti to “meet him on the mat.”

Avenatti and Donald Trump Jr. have sparred on Twitter in recent weeks over special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation and Avenatti’s rumored presidential ambitions. The rivalry took a surreal turn last week, when Avenatti challenged Trump Jr. to a “three-round mixed martial arts fight” with the proceeds going to charity. 

NewDemPAC Helps Candidates Navigate Trump, Raise Money
Political arm of New Democrat Coalition has endorsed 38 recruits

NewDemPAC has endorsed Virginia Democrat Abigail Spanberger, who’s challenging GOP Rep. Dave Brat in the 7th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With 38 endorsed candidates, the political arm of the moderate New Democrat Coalition is hoping to play a significant role helping Democrats win the House majority next month, and in doing so, grow their own business-friendly caucus. 

The coalition’s political action committee, founded in 2005, got involved in races earlier than ever before this cycle — at times choosing favorites in competitive primaries. It also hired a political director for the first time and has been able to help raise more than $2 million for candidates from members and donors.

The Political Class Got 2016 Wrong. Could We See a Repeat?
What’s possible is sometimes more important than what’s probable

The difference between what was probable and what was possible in 2016 was the difference between a President Clinton and a President Trump, Winston writes. (Meredith Dake-O'Connor/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”

So said Sherlock Holmes in “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” and the great detective’s observation may well apply to the upcoming midterm elections.

Pelosi Not Willing to Trade Over Border Wall, Calls It Trump ‘Manhood Issue’
‘It’s probably the worst way to protect the border,’ House minority leader says

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says she will not trade with President Donald Trump for his border wall, calling it a "manhood issue" for him. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday there is nothing she would trade for President Donald Trump’s border wall, setting a hard negotiating stance in advance of an expected December showdown over the issue.

“It happens to be like a manhood issue for the president, building a wall, and I’m not interested in that,” the California Democrat said during a discussion at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. 

Elizabeth Warren’s DNA Results Show Native American Heritage
Democratic senator derisively called ‘Pocahontas’ by doubting Trump

In a video released Monday, Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren tells her family’s story with the help of her older brothers and other family members. (Elizabeth Warren via YouTube)

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren released the results of a genetic test showing her Native American ancestry dating back “six to ten generations” ahead of a possible 2020 presidential run.

“In the senator’s genome, we did find five segments of Native American ancestry with very high confidence where we believe the error rate is less than one in a thousand,” said Carlos Bustamante, a professor of genetics at Stanford, who conducted the test.