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ABOUT LAST NIGHT
MS-SEN: McDaniel - 49.6% Cochran 48.9% Carey - 1.6%IA-SEN: Ernst - 56.2% Clovis - 18% Jacobs - 16.8%IA-03 Zaun - 24.7% Cramer - 21.2% Schultz - 20.1%CA-GOV Brown - 54.5% Kashkari - 19% Donnelly 14.8%CA-17 Honda - 48.6% Khanna - 27.1%CA-33 Carr - 21.5% Lieu - 19% Greuel - 16.8%NJ-12 Coleman - 42.6% Greenstein - 28.1% Chivukula - 21.9%
MISSISSIPPI: Our own Perry Bacon Jr. in Hattiesburg: "The battle between incumbent Senator Thad Cochran and conservative challenger Chris McDaniel in Mississippi’s hard-fought Republican primary on Tuesday is almost certainly headed for a round two runoff. And for the next three weeks, Republicans here will be embroiled in the fight between the Tea Party groups helping to bankroll McDaniel’s campaign and the GOP establishment in the state and in Washington D.C."
The New York Times: "In Mississippi, though, Republican leaders expressed anxiety even before the polls closed about just how much money and effort Democrats may put behind their Senate candidate, former Representative Travis Childers, should Mr. McDaniel be the Republican nominee. And in Washington, top Republicans planning a runoff strategy will have to consider how aggressively they want to target Mr. McDaniel — a man who could be their standard-bearer in Mississippi in three weeks."
"Turnout ended up better than early indications and estimates, at about 300,000 for the GOP primary, around the same number as the heated 2012 presidential primary," notes the Clarion-Ledger.
Don't miss this buzzy read from The Atlantic's Molly Ball: Thad Cochran, the Last of the Naive Republicans.
IOWA: It's Joni Ernst versus Bruce Braley in November after the surging Republican won the Senate primary outright, avoiding a convention. The Des Moines Register has full results here.
From Radio Iowa's O.Kay Henderson: "Republican voters in Iowa’s third congressional district failed to push a candidate across the 35 percent mark needed to secure the GOP nomination, so a convention will be held to pick the party’s candidate for November. Brad Zaun, a former Urbandale mayor and a current member of the state senate, was the top vote-getter, with just under 25 percent support in the primary."
CALIFORNIA: The LA Times hed: "Brown wins big over Kashkari as race turns to gubernatorial runoff"
The San Francisco Chronicle: "The contentious second-place contest between Kashkari and Donnelly was seen as a crucial test of the Tea Party strength in November - coming a week after voters rejected Tea Party candidates for more mainstream Republicans in Kentucky, Georgia and Oregon."
Elan Carr is leading the field in the tight 33rd district race to replace retiring Rep. Henry Waxman. The LA Times: "Gang prosecutor Elan Carr, a Republican, narrowly led the pack in the crowded field for an open, strongly Democratic Westside/South Bay seat. State Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance and former Los Angeles controller Wendy Greuel, both Democrats, were battling for the second spot on November ballot. Spiritual teacher and best-selling author Marianne Williamson, an independent, and radio host Matt Miller, a Democrat, trailed Lieu and Greuel."
NEW JERSEY: Republican Jeff Bell will face off against Sen. Cory Booker in the fall. The Star-Ledger: "Bell's victory came 36 years after he shocked New Jersey Republicans by unseating longtime U.S. Sen. Clifford Case in the primary. He lost the general election to Democrat Bill Bradley and another attempt at the Republican Senate nomination in 1982."
On the 12th district race: "Bonnie Watson Coleman is now poised to become New Jersey's first female member of Congress in more than a decade."
OBAMA AGENDA: More on the Bergdahl story
NBC News: 'The Taliban released a video Wednesday purporting to show the moment former prisoner Bowe Bergdahl was handed over to American custody. The 17-minute video, sent to NBC News by a known Taliban spokesman, shows both sides quickly shaking hands before a clean-shaven Bergdahl is handed over."
Headlines that don't help the administration as it battles Congress over the prisoner swap: "After Guantanamo, Freed Detainees Returned to Violence in Syria Battlefields"
The digging around Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's departure from a base in Afghanistan continues, but the New York Times finds that claims of deaths related to the search for the missing soldier aren't definitive. "A review of casualty reports and contemporaneous military logs from the Afghanistan war shows that the facts surrounding the eight deaths are far murkier than definitive — even as critics of Sergeant Bergdahl contend that every American combat death in Paktika Province in the months after he disappeared, from July to September 2009, was his fault."
NBC's Kelly O'Donnell: "Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss said the administration violated the law by failing to address serious concerns they had about the deal to swap Bergdahl for five Taliban detainees. Chambliss said he had not had a conversation with the White House about a possible exchange for at least 18 months."
"The Senate’s efforts to address the scandal rocking the Department of Veterans Affairs could run headlong into the chamber’s usual gridlock and partisan politics," Roll Call writes.
Driving the morning, from Reuters: "U.S. President Barack Obama endorsed Ukraine's president-elect Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday, offering Kiev financial and security help and saying he was the right choice to lead the country locked in a stand-off with Moscow."
More, from the New York Times: “American officials have come away from their initial dealings with Mr. Poroshenko hopeful that he has the capacity to overhaul a dysfunctional system. A billionaire known as the chocolate king of Ukraine for his confection business, Mr. Poroshenko, a former foreign minister, speaks colloquial English and has made clear that he is determined to integrate his country into Europe.”
OFF TO THE RACES: Grimes hits Obama in new radio ad
Brace for another round of Hillary Clinton health/marriage/presidency/grandmotherhood stories, with a new interview in PEOPLE magazine.
KENTUCKY: Alison Lundergan Grimes is keeping up an aggressive campaign to distance herself from the president's EPA rule. In a new radio ad, she says "Mr. President, Kentucky has lost one-third of our coal jobs in just the last three years. Now your EPA is targeting Kentucky coal with pie in the sky regulations that are impossible to achieve. It’s clear you have no idea how this affects Kentucky."
OREGON: GOP Senate candidate Monica Wehby has finally broken her silence after the release of past police reports about her personal life. "I think these are personal matters that have been put to rest by the fact that both of these guys are close friends of mine and very supportive of my candidacy," she told the Oregonian. "I don't think any of us – man or woman – would like to answer out in the public square for things that we say to our spouses in the heat of an argument. I find this to be a despicable attack by Merkley and his band of bullies."
*** Wednesday’s “The Daily Rundown” line-up: The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza interviews Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Joe Nosef, NBC’s Chuck Todd and Jim Miklaszewski, Republican congressional candidate Elan Carr, Democratic congressional candidate Ted Lieu, The Los Angeles Times’ Kate Linthicum and NPR’s Louisa Lim.
*** Wednesday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall interviews Joshua Cornelison, a medic who was in Bowe Bergdahl's platoon, also Colonel Jack Jacobs and Democratic strategist Jimmy Williams with the latest on Bergdahl; registered dietician Ellie Krieger on today’s national soda summit; and author Steve Fogel on whether your smart phone is stealing your personality.
*** Wednesday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews Rep. Mike Rogers, U.S. Army Captain (Ret.) Wes Moore, Council on Foreign Relations’ Gayle Lemmon, Fmr. RNC Chairman Michael Steele, USA Today’s Susan Page, the Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty, NBC’s Richard Engel and Ian Williams and “D-Day 360” Documentary Director Ian Duncan.