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First Read's Morning Clips: Nelson-vs.-Scott debate gets nasty

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Image: Rick Scott
Florida Gov. Rick Scott gestures as he speaks during a news conference on May 3, 2017 in Sunrise, Florida.Wilfredo Lee / AP

MIDTERM MADNESS: Nelson-vs.-Scott debate gets nasty

From one of us: “As both political parties confront a new wave of sexual misconduct complaints unleashed by the #MeToo movement, more than half of Republicans say that they would still consider voting for a candidate accused of sexual harassment as long as they agreed with them on the issues. A new survey from the Public Religion Research Institute finds that six in 10 Americans (60 percent) say they would not consider supporting a candidate who had been accused of sexual harassment by multiple people, while 38 percent say they would still be open to voting for such a candidate. And those who say multiple accusations of harassment are not disqualifying for political candidates are overwhelmingly more likely to be Republicans than to be Democrats. More than half — 56 percent — of Republicans overall, and 61 percent of Republican men, said would still consider voting for an accused candidate, the poll found.”

NBC’s David Ingram has a big look at how political campaigns and parties are using text messages to reach voters in the midterms.

Michael Bloomberg is injecting $20 million into the Democrats’ battle for the Senate.

Support for Kavanaugh is proving to be a way for senators up in 2020 to fend off primary challenges, writes POLITICO.

CA-50: The Rundown blog breaks down that very controversial new ad from Duncan Hunter, which uses the words “infiltrate Congress” and “security risk” against Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar.

CO-GOV: Jared Polis is up by 7 with likely voters, per a new poll.

FL-GOV: Andrew Gillum is up with a new ad on the algae bloom crisis.

Another poll shows a tied race in Florida.

FL-SEN: The first Senate debate got very nasty, with Rick Scott calling Bill Nelson “confused” and Nelson shooting back “you just can’t tell the truth.”

FL-17: Democrats have chosen a replacement candidate after the unexpected death of April Freeman.

KS-2: More troubles for GOP congressional candidate Steve Watkins as his story of “heroic leadership” during an earthquake at Mount Everest falls apart.

MO: Rising political star Jason Kander is quitting his mayoral race, citing PTSD and depression.

NJ-SEN: A new poll shows Menendez up six points over Bob Hugin.

NY-27: POLITICO looks at whether Chris Collins’ Democratic challenger has a shot.

TX-SEN: Mike Pence is headed to Texas for Ted Cruz and Pete Sessions.

TRUMP AGENDA: “Outright fraud”

Here’s the New York Times’ huge investigation on how Trump used questionable tax maneuvers to transfer huge sums from his father and build his fortune, belying the myth of his self-made riches.

And here’s another look at how Fred Trump helped make his children rich.

The New York State Tax Department is reviewing the Times’ claims.

Trump mocked Dr. Christine Blasey Ford at a rally last night, incensing Democrats.

The FBI is wrapping up its investigation today, the New York Times writes.

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee released a letter from a former DC meteorologist alleging sordid details about a Kavanaugh accuser’s sex life.

Trump’s new trade deal is a big win for Pharma, Big Oil and tech firms.

Betsy DeVos’s security detail is projected to cost $7.7 million in the next year, POLITICO writes.