Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Three internal strategy memos from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have now leaked in two days, the week after the organization was criticized for attacking a Democratic candidate in Texas.

Why it matters: Growing party divisions and messaging leaks that are at odds with what some progressives are pushing for could hurt Democrats' chances at taking back the House. That division is becoming a problem in races overcrowded with Democratic candidates because the DCCC is “keeping all options on the table” to intervene in various Congressional primaries, according to Politico.

Battle lines

Memo #1: Results from an internal health care poll commissioned by the DCCC leaked to The Intercept. The Intercept frames that memo as suggesting that the DCCC doesn't want its candidates to align with single-payer health care advocates. However, the memo encourages Democrats to simply "offer reasonable solutions to improve the law instead of a massive overhaul.”

  • The problem is that many Democratic candidates, from California's Kevin de León to Wisconsin's Randy Bryce, are campaigning on single-payer health care. And a Rasmussen poll from earlier this month found 48% of voters support single-payer health care, a new high in their polling results.

Memo #2: An email from Evan Lukaske, DCCC's regional press secretary, that was leaked to Huffington Post revealed the organization's internal strategy after the Las Vegas shooting: "You and your candidate will be understandably outraged and upset, as will your community. However, DO NOT POLITICIZE IT TODAY,” he wrote, advising them to focus messaging on "offering thoughts/prayers for victims and their families, and thanking 1st responders who saved lives.”

  • The problem: Various members of gun violence prevention groups told HuffPost this DCCC email was "pathetic" or "straight out of the NRA's talking points." And the timing of the email leak is especially problematic after the recent shooting in Parkland, Florida, where lawmakers are again discussing gun control.

Memo #3: Another email from Lukaske leaked to Huffington Post, similar to the first, but this one went out to Democratic candidates right after the Parkland shooting. “I think it’s ok to express your thoughts/prayers on social media,” Lukaske wrote. “But please be careful about what you post on social media and I would not blast any statements right now. There will be a time for politics, but we are still understanding what happened here and gathering the facts.”

  • The pushback: A House candidate wrote back to Lukaske arguing "if we don’t promote gun control when people are emotional, it will never happen." The DCCC and Lukaske clarified this was "just a suggestion" to candidates.

The DCCC openly opposed Laura Moser, a Democrat running for Congress in Texas, who they called a "Washington insider who begrudgingly moved to Houston to run for Congress." She reportedly raised more than $86,000 after the DCCC's brutal memo.

  • The problem: The attack on Moser sparked outrage among progressives and some candidates are frustrated that they feel they don't have party support. “Democrats have to know that they’re going to have the full support [of the DCCC] even if they’re not straight in the party line,” Dan Lipinski told Politico.

Go deeper: Behind the Democratic Party's competing shades of blue.

Go deeper

Updated 57 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Mitt Romney says he'll support moving forward with Supreme Court pick

Photo: Greg Nash/AFP/Pool via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) announced Tuesday that he would support moving forward with a Senate vote on President Trump's selection to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Why it matters: Barring any big surprises, Democrats have virtually no shot at stopping the confirmation process for the president’s nominee before November’s election.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

In UN address, Trump says China "unleashed this plague onto the world"

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump used a virtual address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday to defend his response to the coronavirus and call on other countries to “hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world: China.”

Setting the scene: Trump ticked through four years of major decisions and accomplishments in what could be his last address to the UN. But first, he launched into a fierce attack on China as Beijing’s representative looked on in the assembly hall.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 31,361,979 — Total deaths: 965,642— Total recoveries: 21,528,674Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 6,859,117 — Total deaths: 199,911 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: The CDC's crumbling reputation — America turns against coronavirus vaccine.
  4. Politics: Elected officials are failing us on much-needed stimulus.
  5. Business: Two-thirds of business leaders think pandemic will lead to permanent changes — Wall Street fears stimulus is doomed.
  6. Sports: NFL fines maskless coaches.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!