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OFF TO THE RACES: ABOUT LAST NIGHT

Here's our wrap-up of yesterday's big races. And another one of us(!) wrote this of the results: "Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's victory in Kentucky, plus the upcoming runoff between GOP Rep. Jack Kingston and businessman David Perdue in Georgia, represent something much more than wins for the "Republican establishment. They signal a significant shift in thinking among Republican voters that winning in November matters more than ideological purity."

The New York Times notes: "One of the main lessons emerging from the young primary season is that political fundamentals like candidate strength, fund-raising and incumbency remain paramount, even in an era of deep dissatisfaction with Washington."

The Wall Street Journal's lede: "Republican Party leaders Tuesday made significant strides in their effort to defang—or at least co-opt—the tea party as an insurgent political force, as GOP voters rejected a number of antiestablishment candidates in primary elections."

ARKANSAS: The Arkansas News wraps the state's primary races, where nominees are looking ahead to a tough fall.

GEORGIA: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that neither Rep. Paul Broun or Rep. Phil Gingrey endorsed one of the two Senate runoff candidates in their concession speeches.

The paper also previews what's sure to be a bruising governor's race between Nathan Deal and Jason Carter.

Bloomberg notes how the eight-week runoff between Kingston and Perdue is a boon to Michelle Nunn. "The two Republicans will spend the next eight weeks competing against each other in what promises to be a tough and expensive campaign, instead of focusing their fire on Nunn, 47."

IDAHO: We wrote that Gov. Butch Otter must have been a little worried about a Tea Party challenger when he insisted on inviting two additional gadfly candidates to the gubernatorial debate, but he pulled off a convincing win, the Idaho Statesman writes.

KENTUCKY: Alison Lundergan Grimes is up with her first ad of the general election, per Kasie Hunt -- a 60 second straight-to-camera spot. "I’m running because I believe we need a senator who puts partisanship aside … and works with both Democrats and Republicans to do what’s right for Kentucky and for our country," she says in the spot. "And no matter who the president is, I won’t answer to them. I’ll only answer to you."

McConnell and Grimes used their victory speeches to lay out the broad contours of their general election pitches. McConnell tried to tie Grimes firmly to President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, while Grimes described herself as an independent-minded Kentucky woman willing to stand up to the president on issues important to Kentuckians.

For all the national heat and light about Kentucky's marquee race, turnout was very low, the Herald-Leader notes -- about 26 percent.

OREGON: GOP Senate nominee Monica Wehby used her victory speech to knock recent reports about her personal life that some observers think could evaporate her already longshot effort to knock out incumbent Democrat Jeff Merkley. The Oregonian: "I do have a message for those national Democrats who were willing to shred my family for their own political gain: People are tired of your dirty tricks." She added, "Tonight, we're sending the message that this Senate race will not be decided by the kind of ugly politics that people in Oregon and across the country are so sick of."

PENNSYLVANIA: Just how impressive was Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf's win? The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "With nearly 70 percent of the vote counted, the first-time candidate appeared to be on a track to finish first in every one of the state's 67 counties, capturing three of every five Democratic votes, more than three times the tally of his closest competitor."

How'd he do it? The Allentown Morning Call: "Numerous polls showed Wolf enjoying double-digit leads built largely on TV spots that started in January. For many voters the ads introduced and defined Wolf, a relative unknown compared to at least two of his opponents, as a successful small-town businessman who drives a Jeep, cares for his family and shares profits with employees. While polls repeatedly showed voters embracing those ads, Schwartz and McCord stayed off the air for more than two months, despite having millions of dollars each at their disposal. In effect they conceded the air wars to Wolf."

Not a good night for Chelsea Clinton's mother-in-law. NBC News: "Former congresswoman Marjorie Margolies failed in her bid Tuesday night to return to Capitol Hill, losing big in her Pennsylvania House race against state lawmaker Brendan Boyle."

ALSO ON OUR RADAR: The VA scandal continues

The New York Times: "Facing the potential defeat of an appeals court nominee, the Obama administration decided Tuesday to publicly release much of a classified memo written by the nominee that signed off on the targeted killing an American accused of being a terrorist. The solicitor general, Donald B. Verrilli Jr., made the call to release the secret memo — and not appeal a court order requiring its disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act — and informed Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. of his decision this week, according to two administration officials."

Speaking of that nominee, Rand Paul is headed to the Senate floor to protest the nomination. Business Insider: "According to his office, Paul will take to the Senate floor Wednesday morning to begin an old-fashioned, talking filibuster of Barron's nomination. Paul opposes Barron because of his concerns about legal opinions Barron wrote in support of the use of drones against U.S. citizens."

The VA scandal isn't going away. Per NBC's Peter Alexander, Obama will huddle Wednesday with Veterans Affairs secretary Eric Shinseki and Rob Nabors to get an update on the situation that's shaken his administration. The meeting is closed to press.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling didn't rule out a run for House Speaker in a Heritage Foundation speech yesterday, Roll Call notes.

PROGRAMMING NOTES.

*** Wednesday’s “The Daily Rundown” line-up: NBC’s Chuck Todd interviews Congressional Candidate Brendan Boyle, Congressman Mike Simpson, Governor Peter Shumlin (D-VT), and former Senators John Sununu and Blanche Lincoln.

*** Wednesday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall interviews Democratic strategist Robert Zimmerman and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Salena Zito on the midterm primary results; Colonel Jack Jacobs on this morning’s closed door meeting between President Obama and VA Secretary Shinseki; The Washington Post sports reporter Cindy Boren, on ex-players suit accusing the NFL of illegally using drugs to mask injuries plus, the new allegations of a Sterling coverup; and Meghin Delaney from Bradenton Herald on a Florida high school charging $200 for VIP seating at graduation.

*** Wednesday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews Rep. Mike Rogers, Rep. Donna Edwards, Rep. Joaquin Castro, RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer, Fmr. Gov. Ed Rendell, Military DREAMer Miriam Zamudio-Coria, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza and Karen Tumulty and NBC’s Chuck Todd and Bill Neely.

*** Wednesday’s “The Reid Report” line-up: MSNBC’s Joy Reid interviews The Grio’s Perry Bacon, The Washington Post’s Robert Costa, and Fmr. NFL player Randal “Thrill” Hill.

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