Daniel Sunne, political director of Rod Blum‘s congressional campaign, sent out a fundraising email under the subject line, “We’re nervous about this.”

He wrote, “Here’s the deal — if you asked me last week if we were going to win this race, I would have given you a firm yes. But now with Hillary Clinton‘s campaign diverting resources to down-ballot races, I am getting nervous.”

Paul Kane, of The Washington Post, on Wednesday reported that Priorities USA Action, a super PAC whose primary mission is to get Clinton elected, is shifting advertising money to Democrats’ congressional campaigns.

The race between Blum and challenger Monica Vernon in Iowa House District 1 is the first one Kane mentions.

The 30-second Priorities USA television ad intersperses video clips of controversial statements by Donald Trump with those by Blum exhorting rally-goers, “Send me back to Congress and you send Donald Trump to the White House!”

Kane noted, “GOP operatives take solace in the fact that Blum’s race is still considered a toss-up at this stage, a sign, they believe, that Trump’s struggling candidacy has not produced a wave that will wipe out their majority.”

The Post reporter quoted Nathan Gonzales, editor of the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report, who wrote this about the race: “Rod Blum was supposed to be one of Democrats’ easier takeover targets but Trump’s strong performance in the Hawkeye State kept the congressman in the game for longer than expected.”

NEW FBI PROBE OF CLINTON’S EMAILS SPARKS GOP

Friday’s announcement that the FBI was looking into new information/evidence regarding Clinton’s emails during her tenure as secretary of state clearly buoyed Republicans’ hopes regarding next week’s election.

In Iowa, GOP state chairman Jeff Kaufmann issued a statement that stated in part, “Never before in American history has a major party candidate been under FBI investigation for potential criminal conduct that has put our national security at risk. The bad news is that Hillary Clinton is the most corrupt candidate in American history, but the good news is we have 11 days to save ourselves and our country.”

CLINTON LANDSLIDE IN NEWSPAPER ENDORSEMENTS

Four years ago, the number of newspapers that endorsed President Obama‘s re-election was roughly equal to those endorsing Republican Mitt Romney.

This time around, by the middle of last week, according to Ruairi Arrieta-Kenna‘s article on Politico, the scoreboard shows Clinton receiving more endorsements than Trump. The score is more than 200 to 6.

Not only has Trump received but a half-dozen endorsements, he has been the subject of about a dozen “un-endorsements,” which did not back Clinton but cast Trump as unfit for the office. The largest such paper taking that step — something new in endorsements — was USA Today. (Though not mentioned in Arrieta-Kenna’s article, the Telegraph Herald is also among them.)

About 38 papers came out and said they could not bring themselves to endorse either major party candidate. The Chicago Tribune and Detroit News have endorsed the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson.

The half-dozen papers backing Trump, thus far, are: St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press; Santa Barbara (Calif.) News-Press; Waxahachie (Texas) Daily Light; Times-Gazette in Hillsboro, Ohio; Antelope Valley Press, of Palmdale, Calif.; and the paper owned by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Do endorsements matter? In a 2008 Pew Research Center survey, 70 percent of respondents said their newspaper’s endorsement had no impact on their voting decision. Politico also cited a National Bureau of Economic Research study five years ago that suggested that newspaper endorsements are so predictable, they have little impact.

KIRK’S GAFFE PROMPTS BELATED APOLOGY

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., has put himself on thin ice in the past with some of his comments, but he might have outdone himself Thursday in his debate with U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth.

During a discussion about war, Duckworth, who lost both legs in the Iraq War 12 years ago, said, “My family has served this nation in uniform going back to the Revolution. I’m a daughter of the American Revolution. I’ve bled for this nation.”

To which Kirk said, “I had forgotten your parents had come all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington.”

Duckworth is the daughter of a Thai mother and American father.

Despite loads of post-debate criticism, including some from fellow Republicans, Kirk resisted apologizing for almost a full day. The first-term senator finally apologized. After failing first to reach her by phone, Kirk sent a tweet: “Sincere apologies to an American hero, Tammy Duckworth, and gratitude for her family’s service.”

NOTES

  • When the Tavern League of Wisconsin endorsed U.S. Sen.

Ron Johnson

  • for another term, the Republican posted a video of himself chugging — what else? — a beer. See for yourself: pic.twitter.com/wTo8q5BbVg.
  • Links to state of Iowa and federal campaign finance report sites are posted at TelegraphHerald.com/weblinks.
  • Hope you’re sitting down for this: President Obama, a Democrat, has issued endorsements in congressional races and is backing ... Democrats. Among them are Illinois incumbent

Cheri Bustos

  • (17th District) and Northeast Iowa challenger Vernon (1st). Actually, the presidential seal of approval is not bestowed on all Democrats fighting for seats in Congress, but Obama has been more active in endorsements lately — including in some races for state legislature.
  • Think that by voting early, you can have your say in the election even if the Grim Reaper pays a visit before Election Day? Sorry. Ballots cast early by voters who pass away before Nov. 8 are pulled out of the stack, according to

Jenny Hillary

  • , deputy elections commissioner for Dubuque County. So still be careful crossing the street — at least until Nov. 9.

CALENDAR

7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1 — Wisconsin Assembly District 49 candidate forum, Boscobel Public Library. Sponsored by the library and GFWC Boscobel Women’s Club.

6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19 — Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad‘s Birthday Bash, Adventureland Park Palace Theater, Altoona. $50. Details and tickets: http://tinyurl.com/jhdfbpn.

Countdown: Nine days until Election Day.

Cooper has been TH executive editor since 1986.

Copyright, Telegraph Herald. This story cannot be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without prior authorization from the TH.