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Off to the races: Dems playing defense in '14

Arms race: “On Wednesday morning, the NRA announced a $25,000 television week-long television ad buy to support Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a New Hampshire Republican who’s been under attack by gun control groups on the airwaves and in town halls for her vote on the Senate bill,”  Politico reports. “Just hours later, Giffords’ gun control group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, hit back – announcing it raised more than $11 million in its first four months of operation – a staggering figure even in the age of super PACs and big outside money groups.”

 National Journal: “Senate Democrats began the 2014 election cycle facing a challenging political landscape, without many promising opportunities to take back Republican seats.  And with news that a top recruit in Georgia passed up a campaign for an open seat, along with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell still without a Democratic challenger, there’s a growing possibility Democrats could be playing exclusively on defense in 2014.” 

USA Today on Census report: “President Obama won a second term thanks to record high turnout among black voters and the first-ever decline in the number of white voters, a U.S. Census report released Wednesday shows. For the first time, African Americans were more likely to vote than non-Hispanic whites were: 66.2% of eligible blacks voted, compared with 64.1% of whites. Since the Census Bureau began publishing voting data by race in 1968, whites had voted at higher levels than black.”

FLORIDA: Charlie Crist now backs gay marriage despite having supported a gay-marriage ban just in 2006.

MASSACHUSETTS: “A new WBUR poll in Massachusetts shows Rep. Edward Markey (D) leading Gabriel Gomez (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 41% to 35%.  Markey's lead expands to eight points, 46% to 38%, when undecided voters leaning toward one candidate or the other are included,” Political Wire writes.

The Boston Globe: “Republican US Senate nominee Gabriel E. Gomez claimed a $281,500 income tax deduction in 2005 for pledging not to make any visible changes to the facade of his 112-year-old Cohasset home, a concession so valuable that it is classified as a charitable contribution under a federal law designed to protect historic homes. But Gomezand his wife, Sarah, were already barred from making any changes to the exterior of their home under the bylaws of the local Historical Commission, raising the question as to whether their donation — the price of which is based on the loss of value in their real estate— had any monetary worth.”

“The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee today knocked Republican Senate hopeful Gabriel E. Gomez for saying he was ‘never associated’ with a group on whose behalf he appeared on national television,” the Boston Globe writes. Despite appearing twice on television for the group, Gomez contended yesterday, “As far as OPSEC, I did two interviews for OPSEC. I was never associated with OPSEC. I never donated to OPSEC. I wasn’t part of OPSEC.” And: “I was never connected with them in the first place. I just went on there because we overlapped on that issue about the president taking too much credit and, more importantly, they leaked information that was bad for the unit down there and it put their lives at risk.” The special election is June 25. 

SOUTH CAROLINA: USA Today: “Mark Sanford and his ex-wife have settled her complaint that he was trespassing at her South Carolina home, so the newly elected congressman will not have to appear in court on Thursday.”