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First Read's Morning Clips: Is Sanders 'sputtering'?

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Bernie Sanders, Jose Vargas
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., tries to speak as he is shouted down by protesters as moderator Jose Vargas, left, tries to quiet the protesters in the crowd at a Netroots Nation town hall meeting, July 18, 2015, in Phoenix.Ross D. Franklin / AP

MIDTERM MADNESS

NBC’s Ben Kamisar sums up five races you might not have heard about on Tuesday night.

POLITICO writes that Bernie Sanders is “sputtering.”

FL-GOV: Andrew Gillum appeared at a Stand Your Ground protest at Rick Scott’s office.

And Putnam and DeSantis duked it out at yesterday’s debate.

IL-3: Avowed Nazi Arthur Jones has a write-in challenger.

KS-GOV: Thousands of votes remain uncounted as the Kobach-Colyer race comes down to a potential recount.

MO-SEN:Ali Vitali reports on the fault lines forming in the big clash between McCaskill and Hawley.

NY-27: From the Buffalo News, on the Collins indictment “Now Republican Party and congressional leaders must decide whether to stick with Collins or seek his resignation at a time when GOP candidates around the country appear under siege, though they were remaining mum Wednesday afternoon.”

And/but it could be hard for Collins to get off the ballot even if he wanted to, reports one of us(!)

WI-GOV: The Wisconsin governors’ race may be decided by education, writes the Atlantic.

WV-SEN: POLITICO reports that Patrick Morrisey is leaning on Trump as he fights an uphill battle against Joe Manchin.

TRUMP AGENDA

Oh boy, the Daily Beast reports that Omarosa Manigault-Newman secretly taped conversations with Trump.

From NBC’s Josh Lederman: “The Trump administration is hitting Russia with new sanctions punishing President Vladimir Putin's government for using a chemical weapon against an ex-spy in Britain, U.S. officials told NBC News Wednesday. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed off on a determination that Russia violated international law by poisoning the former spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter in March, officials said, a decision that was announced Wednesday afternoon by State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert.”

The Washington Post writes that Trump is hitting a wall when it comes to his plans to curtail illegal immigration.

Here’s NBC’s exclusive report on that audio of Devin Nunes.