In it, but not of it. TPM DC

NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado is taking a, shall we say, distinct message to Colorado men about Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner: Watch out, guys. A condom shortage could be coming if Gardner has his way.

The message, being spread through online and radio advertising in the final week of the campaign, is the flip side of the women's health message that has typified the anti-Gardner talking points. It isn't just women who have a lot to lose in Gardner's world, it says. There's something at stake for you, too, guys.

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Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell isn't known to be a warm and fuzzy person. Unlike many elite politicians he doesn't have a knack for appearing relatable to the average voter.

More fitting adjectives for the Senate Republican leader that come to mind are guarded, brusque and ruthlessly calculating. His approval rating is underwater in Kentucky, according to a recent Bluegrass Poll.

So the 30-year incumbent, who's aspiring to be majority leader, is out with a pair of television ads trying to humanize him as a regular Joe in the final days of his tough reelection fight.

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With less than a week to go before Election Day, many of the handful of exceedingly close races could tip the Senate’s balance in one other respect: the number of women serving in the U.S. Senate.

In 2012, the number of women serving jumped to 20 — the highest it’s ever been at one time in U.S. history (there have only ever been 44). It was dubbed this generation’s Year of The Woman — a call back to 1992’s Year of the Woman after Anita Hill’s testimony spurred women into office — when the number of women in the Senate went up by five.

The current female senators are dominated by Democrats: just four of the current class of women in the Senate are Republicans, and one of them is Susan Collins, reliably one of the most moderate of Republicans in the chamber.

But those numbers could change on Tuesday.

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California state officials are now looking into whether any state laws were violated when researchers from Stanford University and Dartmouth College sent to some of the state's voters a mailer similar to the one that has stirred significant controversy in Montana and in political science circles nationwide, TPM has learned.

TPM has obtained a copy of the mailer sent by the researchers to voters in California's 25th Congressional District, which covers areas north of Los Angeles. It appears to bear the California state seal, a potential violation of state law, and ranks the candidates in the congressional race and the superintendent of public instruction race by ideology compared to President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

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President Barack Obama on Tuesday told Americans that the United States will defeat the Ebola virus and prevent an outbreak at home by acting "based on the science, based on the facts, based on the experience."

"This disease can be contained. It will be defeated," the president said in brief remarks at the White House, before a scheduled trip to Milwaukee.

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With a week to go before the election and polls showing the race slipping away from him, the Democratic nominee for Senate in South Dakota unleashed a tirade against national Democrats Monday, claiming that they had intentionally sabotaged his campaign in favor of the independent in the race, former Republican Sen. Larry Pressler.

"I can't attribute this to (DSCC executive director) Guy Cecil or (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid or any of those other folks, but I know the chatter out there was they didn't care if Weiland or Pressler won, and I think they felt like Pressler had a better path to victory," Rick Weiland told TPM in a phone interview following a press conference in South Dakota where he unloaded on the DSCC. "They had a disclaimer, bought and paid for by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Who do you think that's going to affect?"

Weiland's theory is that the DSCC is running negative TV ads against Republican nominee Mike Rounds in order to hurt Rounds and Weiland's images and therefore boost Pressler, who has said he is open to caucusing with either party.

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