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First Read's Morning Clips: Frelinghuysen's retirement boosts Dem hopes

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Image: Rodney Frelinghuysen
House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) attends a hearing on Capitol Hill on June 27, 2017.Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call via AP Images

MIDTERM MADNESS: Frelinghuysen’s retirement gives Dems a boost

The three Senate Democrats who voted for an 20-week abortion ban bill yesterday: Bob Casey, Joe Manchin, and Joe Donnelly.

Senate Majority PAC raised $21.7 million last year, and Majority Forward brought in $10.1 million, per the Washington Post.

NBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald reports that the CEO of the DNC is leaving after less than a year on the job.

AZ-SEN: Kelli Ward says she wants six primary debates.

FL-GOV: Ron DeSantis touted Trump’s support in his first rally Monday.

IN: American Bridge will air a digital ad in Indiana and other Rust Belt states focusing on laid-off workers from Carrier Corp.

KS-GOV: Kansas’ new governor is in for a wild ride — while Democrats worry that they won’t be able to capitalize on an unpopular GOP because of votes siphoned off by independent Greg Orman.

MI-GOV: A would-be Democratic candidate for governor may not be eligible because of past residency issues.

MO-GOV: Eric Greitens, wrestling with scandal, isn’t getting much help from his own party.

NJ: Chris Christie has joined ABC as a contributor.

NJ-11: NBC’s Jonathan Allen sums up why Rodney Frelinghuysen’s retirement boosts Democratic hopes.

POLITICO looks at the GOP’s other problems in New Jersey, too.

OK-1: Jim Bridenstine’s nomination is in limbo, notes the Wall Street Journal.

PA-7: There are now seven Democrats vying in the primary to replace outgoing GOP Rep. Pat Meehan.

TN-SEN: (It’s IVR, but): A new poll shows Marsha Blackburn with a very comfortable lead over former Gov. Phil Bredesen.

VT-SEN: Bernie Sanders backed out of an interview after a newspaper failed to agree to conditions — then Sanders accused a reporter of being a “gossip columnist.”

WI-SEN: A super PAC backing Leah Vukmir pulled in $1 million thanks to Beloit billionaire Diane Hendricks the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.

WI-1: Paul Ryan’s Democratic opponent, Randy Bryce, will be in the gallery tonight for the State of the Union.

TRUMP AGENDA: The time when Trump phoned Andrew McCabe

Ken Dilanian and Alex Johnson sum up Republicans’ vote to release a classified memo about FBI eavesdropping.

And then there’s this: “The day after he fired James Comey as director of the FBI, a furious President Donald Trump called the bureau's acting director, Andrew McCabe, demanding to know why Comey had been allowed to fly on an FBI plane from Los Angeles back to Washington after he was dismissed, according to multiple people familiar with the phone call. McCabe told the president he hadn’t been asked to authorize Comey’s flight, but if anyone had asked, he would have approved it, three people familiar with the call recounted to NBC News. The president was silent for a moment and then turned on McCabe, suggesting he ask his wife how it feels to be a loser — an apparent reference to a failed campaign for state office in Virginia that McCabe’s wife made in 2015.”

Yes, the tickets for the State of the Union had a pretty egregious misspelling, NBC’s Ali Vitali and Alex Moe report.

Immigrants and immigration will be in the spotlight at the State of the Union.

The New York Times preview of the speech: “When President Trump delivers his first State of the Union address on Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET, his most fervent supporters are anxious that he will squander the most high-profile moment of his presidency with a soft speech that bends more to the predilections of the political establishment in Washington and less to the populist army that sent him there to drain the swamp.”

And don’t miss this: “Hillary Clinton personally "overruled" a recommendation that she fire a top campaign staffer accused of sexual harassment in 2008, her campaign manager at the time said Monday. Patti Solis Doyle, who headed Clinton's presidential bid when a young female staffer accused senior adviser Burns Strider of repeatedly sexually harassing her, told CNN she urged Clinton to dismiss Strider, but the Democratic candidate rejected the recommendation.”