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The midterms: The most negative cycle for TV ads?

The campaign rhetoric in this cycle's ads “is getting ugly,” the Washington Post writes. “'We always say this is the most negative cycle, but 2010 probably will be it,' said Evan Tracey, who tracks campaign ads for the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which is based in Northern Virginia. 'The national issues are huge, and both parties hold the view that you have to blow up your opponent.'”

The Democratic National Committee has announced it's distributing $2.5 million to various campaign committees and state parties to help the Democrats this fall. Of that $2.5 million, the DNC transferred $833,333 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; an equal amount to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; $400,000 to the Florida state party; $333,333 to the Pennsylvania state party; and $100,000 to the Maryland state party.

"The state grants represent our commitment to the governor races in those states," a DNC official tells First Read. "The way the Democratic Governors Association is structured, we can't give to them like we can to the DSCC and the DCCC."

With these new transfers, the DNC has now handed out $4.5 million of its $20 million cash commitment to Democratic entities this midterm season. Overall, the DNC says it will spend a combined $50 million on the midterms.

Speaking of the DSCC, the committee will issue a memo today arguing that, [i]n Nevada, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Illinois, Democratic prospects have improved over the last five weeks as Republican candidates have been exposed for their extremism, evasiveness and exaggerations. Despite the headwinds of history, Democratic Senate candidates in these states – two of which would be pick-up opportunities -- have becoming increasingly competitive.”

CALIFORNIA: “With the campaigns in full swing over what are supposed to be lazy summer months, a new survey from the Public Policy Institute of California finds the races for governor and U.S. Senate are both up for grabs,” the L.A. Times' PolitiCal blog writes. “Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown is leading his Republican opponent Meg Whitman, 37% to 34%. Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer is ahead of Republican Carly Fiorina, 39% to 34%.”

FLORIDA: One-time longshot candidates Rick Scott (R) and Jeff Greene (D) lead in their primaries for governor and senate, respectively. Scott is beating Attorney General Bill McCollum 43%-32%, and Greene leads 33%-23% in the latest Quinnipiac poll.

“Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kendrick Meek will kick off a 10-day bus tour next Wednesday in Orlando, concluding with a hometown rally in Miami on Aug. 14,” Tampa Bay Buzz writes.

KENTUCKY: “Coal company executives are considering whether to launch an industry-funded campaign organization aimed at defeating Kentucky Democrats Jack Conway and Ben Chandler and others deemed to be 'anti-coal,'” the Louisville Courier-Journal writes.

MISSOURI: Tea Party favorite Michelle Bachmann's plans to campaign with Rep. Roy Blunt over the weekend has state Tea Party groups crying foul, the St Louis Dispatch writes. “While those groups haven't endorsed anyone in Tuesday's primary, many of their members say underdog Chuck Purgason, a state senator, is the real Tea Party candidate.”

NEVADA: “In Sen. Harry Reid's new campaign ad, a kindergarten teacher Bridget Zick praises the senator for passing the Recovery Act to save 3,500 Nevada education jobs,” the Las Vegas Review Journal writes. “But, it turns out, Zick's specific job wasn't on the chopping block. That's not mentioned in the ad, which gives the impression the stimulus kept Zick in the classroom with her kids.”

NEW HAMPSHIRE: A new WMUR Granite State Poll finds that “Republican Kelly Ayotte still holds an 8-point lead over [Democratic candidate Paul] Hodes, but that's a slide from the 15-point edge she held in April,” WMUR writes.