First Read's Morning Clips: Bredesen says he won't back Schumer

IMAGE: Phil Bredesen
Former Gov. Phil Bredesen, center, campaigns Wednesday in Memphis, Tennessee. Bredesen won the Democratic primary Thursday in his bid to replace retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker.Mark Humphrey / AP

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MIDTERM MADNESS: Bredesen says he won’t back Schumer

2020: POLITICO takes a peek inside John Hickenlooper’s 2020 strategy.

AZ-GOV: Doug Ducey and David Garcia held their second debate last night, sparring over education and school-safety policies.

CA-GOV: Do John Cox and Gavin Newsom even want the same job, the LA Times asks?

FL-GOV: NextGen is pouring a ton of money into boosting young voters.

FL-16: Algae blooms are starting to factor big in Vern Buchanan’s reelection race.

ME-GOV: Janet Mills is outraising her opponents.

MO-SEN: Claire McCaskill needs black voters, and she’s getting help from outside groups who are trying to mobilize them for her.

ND-SEN: Ali Vitali notes that Kevin Cramer is doubling down on his comments about Kavanaugh, saying that the allegations of assault aren’t disqualifying “even if it’s all true.”

OH-SEN: Sherrod Brown has a double-digit lead over Jim Renacci in Ohio, per our latest NBC News/Marist poll.

OH-GOV: The same poll shows a neck-and-neck contest between Richard Cordray and Mike DeWine.

TN-SEN: Phil Bredesen said at a debate Tuesday that he won’t back Schumer to continue as Democratic leader in the Senate.

Marsha Blackburn tried to brush off that claim, the AP notes.

TRUMP AGENDA: Kavanaugh doesn’t have the votes — yet

Mitch McConnell is projecting confidence, but he doesn’t have the votes to confirm Brett Kavanaugh for sure yet, Leigh Ann Caldwell and Kasie Hunt report.

Republicans have hired Rachel Mitchell, an experienced sex crimes prosecutor in Maricopa County, Arizona, to question Christine Blasey Ford.

Here’s more about Mitchell from the Washington Post.

A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll shows that a plurality haven't made up their minds on whether Kavanaugh or Ford is telling the truth.

The lawyer for Kavanaugh’s second accusers says she’s willing to testify.

Former Kavanaugh classmates are questioning his “choir boy” image — on the record.

Ford’s family is remaining fairly quiet through the firestorm.

Under pressure, the GOP is stepping up its timeline to confirm Kavanaugh.

And POLITICO reports that Democrats have no idea how Ford will hold up in the public hearing.

Yesterday’s other huge story — one of Trump’s remarks at the U.N. was treated with laughter.

And here’s the latest on the Rod Rosentein saga.

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