A1: The stories you need to read before your first conference call.
-- Voters head to the polls today to elect 36 U.S. Senators, 36 governors, 435 members of the House of Representatives and about 6,000 state legislators. The first polls opened at 6 a.m. Eastern in Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Virginia. The final polls close way out in the Aleutian Islands at 1 a.m. Eastern. For a full list of poll closing times, click here.
-- Huge News: How are you going to visualize what happens tonight? With the 2014 Election Results Poster, published by The Washington Post and Election Data Services. Pre-orders available for Read In subscribers at this link.
-- Don't forget ballot measures. Initiatives, referenda and questions on the ballot in 41 states and the District of Columbia would impact everything from genetically modified food to marijuana to gun and tax policy. A total of 147 measures are on the ballot this year, well below the average number in a given year. A summary of what's on the ballot here, and all the latest polling on the most controversial measures here. One issue likely to pass across state lines: Minimum wage hikes. Republicans and business groups have spent little time or money opposing wage increases on the ballot in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota. (New York Times)
-- Total federal spending on the midterm elections is expected to reach $4 billion, the most expensive midterm in history. The North Carolina Senate race alone will cost more than $108 million. A targeted voter in Arkansas saw an average of 34 political commercials a day over the last weekend. More than 500 outside groups reported spending money on the midterms. (Associated Press)
-- The Justice Department is sending federal monitors to 18 states to watch for voter discrimination, Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday. Monitors will be on site in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. (The Hill)
-- The rate of Ebola infections in Liberia has declined so sharply that even the busiest treatment facilities are only half full. The decline has occurred even before the U.S. military delivers any of the 17 treatment facilities it had promised. The CDC is dispatching teams around Liberia to contain single cases of the disease in hopes of preventing another flare-up. Officials are worried that the end of the rainy season will increase travel between Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the three most impacted countries. (Washington Post)
-- Vice Admiral Ted Branch, the director of Naval Intelligence, has been unable to view classified information since his security clearance was suspended last November. An investigation for possible misconduct has not led to charges, and there's no sense when the investigation will wrap up. Navy intelligence officials are frustrated that their chief can't sit with other services' intelligence chiefs when they brief Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. (Navy Times)
-- Front Pages: WaPo 5-column head: "What went wrong for President Obama?" NYT: "G.O.P. Confident On Election's Eve, With Voters Sour." WSJ leads with Saudi Arabia cutting oil prices, though most of the front spotlights key races in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire. USA Today: "Wall Street Bullish for Republican Congress." LA Times, with side-by-side photos of Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and challenger Neel Kashkari (R): "Drama's mostly out of state." Ouch.
National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.
-- WH'16: It begins ... tomorrow. Americans for Real Change, an outside group that supports former New York Gov. George Pataki (R), will start a week-long wave of TV ads in New Hampshire. It's only about $33,000, and it's only on Fox News stations in Boston, Burlington and Portland, but there you have it, the first ads of the 2016 cycle. (Washington Post)
-- North Carolina: The state Secretary of Energy and Natural Resources has asked his staff for more information about a 2010 grant to a company co-owned by Sen. Kay Hagan's (D) husband. JDC Manufacturing received a $250,644 grant, money that came from the stimulus bill. The memo says another company, SolarDyne, managed by Hagan's son, was contracted to do work under the grant, but a list of invoices from JDC don't show any payments to that company. Republicans have called the grant a conflict of interest. (Charlotte Observer)
-- Kentucky: A Franklin Circuit Court judge on Monday denied a request from Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes' (D) campaign to stop a Kentucky Republican Party mailer Democrats said amounted to voter intimidation. The mailer, which carried a stamp that said "Election Violation Notice" on the outside, hit mailboxes last week. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
-- Kansas: Independent Senate candidate Greg Orman denies he called former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole a "clown" last week. In an email Dole shared with the Washington Post, Orman said he had referred to a "clown car" because of "the near-endless number of political supporters" of Sen. Pat Roberts (R) "who have piled out of Washington to support him, none of whom I think are clowns." Dole said the email was an apology. (Washington Post)
-- Florida: The U.S. Supreme Court will take up a dispute between Florida and Georgia over the use of fresh water from the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basins. Florida alleges that Georgia's water usage harms oyster production in Apalachicola Bay, which produces 10 percent of the nation's oysters. Oyster harvests are a fraction of what they were, and NOAA declared a fishery disaster in 2013. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli recommended the Supreme Court wait until the Army Corps of Engineers finishes a revision to the Master Water Control Manual before taking up the case. (AL.com)
-- Texas: The special prosecutor gunning for Gov. Rick Perry (R) said in court documents Monday that Perry shouldn't have access to grand jury testimony because he could intimidate witnesses. In court filings, Michael McCrum cited Perry's statement the day after he was indicted, in which he promised to hold accountable "those responsible." Perry is scheduled to be in court for a pre-trial hearing on Thursday. (Dallas Morning News)
The Outliers: Pollsters who took a risk.
-- Polls were all over the place this year. Who's going to have a good night tonight, and who's going to have egg on their face? We've compiled a list of the outliers in each top Senate race, the pollsters who landed at each extreme over the last few weeks:
-- Arkansas: The Arkansas Poll was most bullish on Rep. Tom Cotton (R), putting him ahead 49 percent to 36 percent. NBC/Marist gave Sen. Mark Pryor (D) the best shot: They had Cotton up 45 percent to 43 percent.
-- Colorado: Rasmussen's final poll put Rep. Cory Gardner (R) up 6 points, 51 percent to 45 percent. The last YouGov poll was the friendliest to Sen. Mark Udall (D); Gardner only led by 1 point, 43 percent to 42 percent, in that survey.
-- Georgia: Pretty narrow band here: Landmark found businessman David Perdue (R) leading philanthropy executive Michelle Nunn (D) 50 percent to 46 percent, and YouGov had Perdue up 44 percent to 42 percent. The real question: Who's closest to Perdue's final vote total? Hitting 50 percent means no runoff in January.
-- Iowa: The respected Des Moines Register Poll was the most bullish on state Sen. Joni Ernst's (R) prospects, showing her leading Rep. Bruce Braley (D) 51 percent to 44 percent. We'll include three on the opposite end: Reuters/Ipsos and Quinnipiac showed a tied race, and YouGov put Braley ahead by 1, 43 percent to 42 percent.
-- Kansas: Not a lot of range here, either. SurveyUSA showed businessman Greg Orman (I) leading by 2 points, 44 percent to 42 percent. YouGov had Sen. Pat Roberts (R) leading by a single point, 38 percent to 37 percent (that's a lot of undecideds for less than a week out).
-- Kentucky: This race broke open late; Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) has led all but one poll in October. NBC/Marist gave him the widest lead, 50 percent to 41 percent, and on the low end SurveyUSA pegged his lead at 5 points, 48 percent to 43 percent.
-- Louisiana: Multi-candidate races are much harder to call than head-to-heads. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) scores highest, 44 percent, in an NBC/Marist poll, and lowest, 36 percent, in a USA Today/Suffolk survey. Rep. Bill Cassidy (R) hits his peak, 36 percent, in NBC/Marist and in a Rasmussen survey. Retired Marine Rob Maness (R) scores just 6 percent in a CBS/NYT/YouGov poll, and as high as 15 percent in a PPP poll and the NBC/Marist poll.
-- New Hampshire: A late-breaker here. Rasmussen pegged Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's (D) lead at 7 points, 52 percent to 45 percent, last week. Vox Populi, a Republican firm, put former Sen. Scott Brown (R) up 49 percent to 45 percent, a 4-point edge, around the same time.
-- North Carolina: These two have been trading in a tight range for months. Sen. Kay Hagan's (D) biggest leads lately came in PPP and YouGov polls that put her up 3 points. Harper had state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) up 2 points in their last survey.
DC Digest: What's on tap today in DC.
-- President Obama meets IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in the Oval Office this afternoon. Later, he hosts Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, followed by a Situation Room sit-down with members of the national security and public health teams to get an update on the Ebola response.
-- Vice President Biden is hanging out with Obama all day. They have lunch scheduled in the private dining room, then Biden attends the meetings with Lagarde and Hagel and in the Situation Room.
-- The White House's political involvement, by the numbers: President Obama appeared at 9 events with candidates (Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, twice, Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke, Maine Rep. Mike Michaud, Rhode Island Treasurer Gina Raimondo, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, former Michigan Rep. Mark Schauer and Rep. Gary Peters at the same event, and Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf). Vice President Biden appeared at 10 events with candidates. Michelle Obama showed up at 14 events with candidates, according to a Democratic source keeping track. Dr. Jill Biden hit 20 campaign events, the White House said.
-- Obama's real strength was fundraising. The DSCC says President Obama helped them raise $25 million this year. He appeared at 18 fundraisers for the DCCC, and one more for the Democratic Governors Association.
-- Bill Clinton helped Democratic candidates 71 times this year, whether at events, rallies or fundraisers or through emails and mail pieces. Clinton also lent his name to 1 DNC fundraising pitch and 3 for the DSCC. (New York Times) Hillary Clinton hit 45 midterm-related events in 19 states and the District in 54 days. Her itinerary included 3 stops in Iowa and 4 in New Hampshire. (Washington Post)
-- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi still has it: The DCCC says Pelosi helped House Democrats raise more than $101 million this year, including $65 million directly to the DCCC. (Politico) This is the one-click answer to all those ridiculous rumors of a coup.
-- Tomorrow: The WH'16 field and where they lent a helping hand.
B1: Business, politics and the business of politics
-- The Republican Governors Association has paid more than $1.2 million to a New Jersey charter jet operator that Gov. Chris Christie (R) prefers. Christie has visited 37 states as RGA chairman and raised more than $102 million along the way. His two most frequent stops: Illinois and Florida, where he's been eight times each. (Wall Street Journal)
-- Where's Rob Nichols? One of the most powerful lobbyists in D.C. spent his weekend waving yard signs for his brother Mark, who's running for Clallam County Prosecutor out on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. Rob says Mark had to endure 18 debates. Take note, Senate and gubernatorial candidates who think about skipping public debates.
-- Stock futures are down a tick after a mixed day on Wall Street Monday. International markets were mixed, too, though the Nikkei registered another big jump. (CNN)
C1: The long reads you'll need to check out before tonight's cocktail party.
-- Candidates and the independent groups that support them are collaborating more than ever, pushing boundaries and finding new ways to communicate their wishes without officially coordinating. The DCCC and the NRCC posted their opposition research and talking points on their websites, and it's not uncommon to share suggested TV ad scripts and video footage online, which outside groups can then use to make their own ads.
-- This year also marked the rise of the single-candidate super PAC. More than 90 groups dedicated to funding a single candidate sprang up this year, quadruple the number that formed in 2010. Independent groups reported spending more than $500 million this cycle, up from about $300 million in 2010. (Washington Post)
C4: The comics page, fun things to read when you're bored at work
-- Headline of the Day: "On election eve, juror notices defendant's name on ballot for district attorney." The defendent, Jim Duensing, is a Libertarian candidate in Clark County, Nev. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Attn Matt Drudge: Things conservatives will get outraged by today.
-- Former California state Sen. Roderick Wright (D) was convicted in January of voter fraud and perjury and sentenced in September to 90 days in jail. He surrendered at the Los Angeles County jail on Friday ... and was released about an hour later. County officials say the fact that his crime was non-violent and he was a first-time offender allowed him to be released without ever seeing the inside of a cell. (Washington Post)
Attn HuffPo: What outrages liberals today
-- New Hampshire Republican Party chairwoman Jennifer Horn is nothing if not subtle. At a last-minute get-out-the-vote rally in Manchester, Horn fired up her fellow Republicans: "This is our time, we need to crush it and push their heads under over and over and over again until they cannot breathe anymore." (NH Journal)