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Scott Brown was once a GOP hero. Now his family’s political journey could end today

First Read is your briefing from “Meet the Press” and the NBC Political Unit on the day’s most important political stories and why they matter.
Image: Scott Brown and Gail Huff Brown
Scott Brown and Gail Huff Brown greet supporters at the Manchester, NH GOP Victory office on Nov. 4, 2014.Kayana Szymczak / Getty Images file

WASHINGTON —  If it’s Tuesday ... The Justice Department issues  some 40 subpoenas over last week related to effort by Donald Trump and allies to overturn the 2020 election. … President Biden celebrates passage of Inflation Reduction Act at the White House. ... It’s the final Primary Day of 2022 — in Delaware, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. ... Far-right New Hampshire Senate candidate Don Bolduc tells NBC’s Dasha Burns that traditional Republicans lining up behind GOP rival Chuck Morse signal “that we’re winning, that we’re a threat to the establishment, that we’re a threat to the status quo.”… Morse responds: “The fact is the primary’s about the fact that I can beat [Democratic Sen.] Maggie Hassan.” 

But first: It’s been quite a political journey for Scott Brown and his family, and that journey could very well come to an end in today’s N.H. 01 GOP primary. 

In 2010, Brown pulled off a stunning upset in Massachusetts, winning the Senate seat held by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and ending the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority. 

In 2012, he lost the Senate seat to Democrat Elizabeth Warren. 

In 2014, he switched states — from Massachusetts to New Hampshire — to challenge Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. He lost, but the issues he used in that campaign’s closing days (immigration, ISIS and Ebola) served as a precursor to Donald Trump’s presidential run the next year. 

In 2017, Trump nominated Brown as U.S. ambassador to New Zealand, and he served in that post for four years.  

And in 2022, wife Gail Huff Brown — a former prominent Boston-area TV news reporter — is running for the GOP nomination in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District, where she’s been running ads supporting abortion rights

And where she appears to be trailing Republicans Matt Mowers and Karoline Leavitt for the right to challenge Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H., in the fall. 

The potential takeaway from the Brown’s political journey over the last 12 years: They were too conservative for Massachusetts — save for that Tea Party-fueled upset in 2010. 

And they maybe weren’t conservative enough to be a Republican in New Hampshire in 2022.

At least in a contested GOP primary. 

Tweet of the day

Data Download: The number of the day is … 7

That’s the number of states where Republicans have spent more on Senate ads than Democrats have over the last two weeks, according to an analysis of ad-spending data from AdImpact. 

From Aug. 29 through Sept. 11, Republican spending has surpassed Democrats in key Senate races in Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. GOP outside groups and candidates have spent a combined $38.6 million in those states over that period, while Democrats spent a combined $28.4 million. 

Republicans also outspent Democrats over the last week, from Sept. 5 through Sept. 11, in North Carolina and Ohio, spending a combined $5.1 million to Democrats’ $2.8 million. 

The spending surge is driven largely by outside groups, particularly the GOP super PAC, Senate Leadership Fund, and its non-profit arm, One Nation. But Democratic candidates still have a sizable advantage in ad spending compared to their GOP opponents, which is an important caveat because candidates receive lower ad rates, so they can air more ads for the same amount of money as an outside group.

Other numbers to know:

51%: The share of voters in battleground states who said Republicans are more extreme on abortion, according to polling exclusively provided to NBC News by WPA Intelligence, a GOP political consulting firm, NBC News’ Jonathan Allen, Marc Caputo and Allan Smith report. 

97: How many members of Congress reported stock trades by themselves or family members in companies that could be affected by their congressional committees, per a New York Times analysis.  

16: The number of Senate or gubernatorial nominees who are Black, a record number, per the Washington Post.

$2 million: That’s how much President Biden raised for the Democratic National Committee at Monday night fundraiser in Boston, per NBC News’ Mike Memoli. 

Midterm roundup: The final (primary) countdown

This is it, folks: The final primary day of 2022 (Louisiana’s Election Day primaries notwithstanding). Voters are voting today in Delaware, Rhode Island and New Hampshire — with the latter two home to some big races. 

In Rhode Island, Democratic Gov. Dan McKee faces voters for the first time since he was elevated to the state’s top slot to replace Commerce Sec. Gina Raimondo. McKee is running in a crowded primary, and his top rivals are Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea and former CVS executive Helena Foulkes. It’s a race that’s gotten heated in the final few weeks

The state is also sporting a competitive House Democratic primary between state General Treasurer Seth Magaziner and former federal Commerce Department employee Sarah Morgenthau, with the winner likely facing off against Republican former Cranston Mayor Allan Fung in a competitive race. 

New Hampshire has two competitive GOP primaries — the 1st District, which we discussed earlier, and the 2nd, which features another broad field that includes Keene Mayor George Hansel, former Hillsborough County Treasurer Robert Burns and small business owner Lily Tang Williams.

And then there’s the marquee race, the Senate GOP primary that pits the establishment-backed state Sen. Chuck Morse against the further right, retired Brigadier Gen. Don Bolduc. 

Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

Arizona Senate: Arizona’s four-person Republican congressional delegation endorsed Senate nominee Blake Masters

Pennsylvania Senate: Republican nominee Mehmet Oz tweeted that he supports the bill codifying same-sex marriage in the Senate. Meanwhile, the Washington Post Editorial Board called on Democratic nominee and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman to debate more than once amid questions about his stroke recovery, while NBC News’ Frank Thorp and Kate Santaliz report that Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said Fetterman told donors at a recent fundraiser that he’s “almost there mentally.” 

Florida Governor: Former Rep. Charlie Crist, the Democratic nominee for governor, accepted invitations to three televised debates, including one GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis has already declined.

Michigan Governor: NBC News’ Yamiche Alcindor spoke with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her opponent, Republican nominee Tudor Dixon, about the impact of the abortion rights debate on their race.

Nevada Governor: Virginia GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin will campaign with GOP gubernatorial nominee Joe Lombardo on Thursday. 

Pennsylvania Governor: The Philadelphia Inquirer explores how Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro is trying to turn out Black voters in Philadelphia.

Wisconsin Governor: Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and his GOP opponent, businessman Tim Michels, agreed to one debate on Oct. 14. 

Oregon-04: Oregon Capital Chronicle reported that Republican nominee Alek Skarlatos appeared on a podcast in 2018 where he joked about choking women and women dying in a sexual setting. In a statement, he said he was “disappointed” in those comments and “I apologize if I offended anyone.” 

Ad watch: Democrats launch abortion ad in Arizona

Two Democratic groups are launching a new TV ad in Arizona’s Senate race, painting Republican Blake Masters as extreme on abortion.

The new 30-second spot, shared first with NBC News, is part of a $2.3 million statewide ad buy from VoteVets and Senate Majority PAC. The ad features an Army veteran named Hillary.

“My husband and I both served. He gave his life fighting for our freedoms,” she says in the ad. “It’s offensive, seeing someone like Blake Masters talking about taking away our rights.”

The ad then cuts to footage of Masters’ previous comments on abortion, where he says, “Absolutely no abortions” and “You make it illegal and you punish the doctors.” The ad concludes with Hillary saying Masters’ positions are “un-American.”

Read more about the ad on the Meet the Press Blog

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world

Trump’s legal team is asking a judge to continue blocking the Justice Department from reviewing classified documents seized from the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence.

The Biden administration is hoping to reach a deal by the end of the week to avert a national railroad strike, the Washington Post reports.

NBCLX spoke with New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan about his state’s primary this year, and the 2024 presidential primary. 

Sen. Lindsey Graham. R-S.C., will propose a federal abortion restrictions, Axios reports.