By MICHAEL FALCONE ( @michaelpfalcone )
- A PRIMARY PROLONGED: It's likely the Democratic senate primary in Hawaii will finally get decided today and it's all up to less than 8,000 voters, ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE notes. Incumbent Sen. Brian Schatz leads challenger Rep. Colleen Hanabusa by just over 1,700 votes and today two precincts on the Big Island who were unable to get to their voting locations last Saturday due to Hurricane Iselle will get an opportunity to cast their ballots. Hanabusa was trying to delay the vote filing a suit Thursday saying people are still trying to get the "basic necessities" of food, ice, water, and power so voting is the last thing on their mind. She was also concerned that without power voters may not even know about the rescheduled election. The campaign says the judge denied their request and the Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago says the show will go on today. In a statement he says the election will continue for those two Big Island precincts. The two precincts include about 8,000 voters, but about 1/5 voted early or by absentee. With those polls closing by midnight on the east coast, Hawaii officials say we should have an answer late tonight.
- POST-ELECTION CHALLENGE? Colin Moore, a professor of political science at the University of Hawaii tells WALSHE it may be "technically possible" for Hanabusa to pull ahead, but "it's very unlikely." It's not just making up the votes, Moore points out but Schatz won in both other precincts in the Puna area of Hawaii Island. "That means she would have to convince the relatively small number of remaining voters to support her overwhelmingly," Moore said, adding he expects a "post-election challenge" from Hanabusa if she's not successful today.
14 FOR 14: THE MIDTERM MINUTE
CASSIDY TAKES A VICTORY LAP AROUND LANDRIEU. Rep. Bill Cassidy now has more cash on hand than Sen. Mary Landrieu in the Louisiana Senate race, according to pre-primary FEC filings. This is the first time the Republican challenger has managed to pull ahead of the Democrat incumbent with cash on hand, with Cassidy reporting $5.6 million compared to Landrieu's $5.5 million, ABC's JORDYN PHELPS reports. Cassidy campaign spokesman John Cummins said in a statement: "We are incredibly excited about the state of our campaign. Dr. Cassidy's message of common-sense conservative reform is resonating. That's why he has proven one of the most prolific fundraisers of this cycle and is the only Senate challenger in the country with more cash on hand than the incumbent." At the close of the second quarter, there was an indication that Cassidy might be catching up to Landrieu on fundraising. At that time, Landrieu reported having $6.2 million cash on hand compared to Cassidy's $5.8 cash on hand - a difference of only about $400 thousand.
with ABC's SCOTT WILSON
HOW U.S. MILITARY TEAM SLIPPED ON AND OFF MT. SINJAR. Expecting the worst, a small team of U.S. special operations forces and relief workers sent to Mount Sinjar was surprised to find far fewer Yazidis trapped on the mountain than initially feared, leading the Obama administration to decide that a large-scale evacuation mission was not necessary, ABC's LUIS MARTINEZ reports. The 16 member team had been sent to Mount Sinjar to make a first-hand assessment that would help policy makers plan for what could have potentially been a risky and lengthy mission to get tens of thousands of Yazidi refugees off the mountain. Instead of finding tens of thousands of Yazidi refugees they found that only 4,000 to 5,000 Yazidis remained on the mountain, and half that number lived on the mountain and did not want to leave their homes. Their quick initial assessment was forwarded to the Pentagon where an interagency team determined that an evacuation mission was not warranted. http://abcn.ws/1pcUyH9
SECRET SERVICE 'AWARE' OF APPARENT ISIS FLAG PHOTO IN FRONT OF THE WHITE HOUSE. The Secret Service said it is "aware" of a photo that appeared to show an image of an ISIS flag in front of the White House, according to ABC's CHRIS GOOD. If authentic, the photo showed a hand holding up an image of an flag for ISIS (also known as ISIL or Islamic State), displayed on a smartphone, on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House fence. That area, closed off to street traffic, is frequented by thousands of tourists every day. It was tweeted from an apparently pro-ISIS Twitter handle @sunna_rev on Aug. 9. "We have an intelligence division whose mission is to assess information that we receive every day for dangerousness or potential threat level," Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan told ABC News. "We are aware of the image and will take the necessary and appropriate follow up steps." A senior U.S. intelligence official told ABC that use of Twitter is consistent with ISIS practices. The group has shown to be at the forefront of social media use among terrorist and militant groups, the official said. http://abcn.ws/XkYQmb
OBAMA PROMISES OPEN PROBE INTO FERGUSON POLICE SHOOTING. President Obama offered appealed for calm in riot-wracked Ferguson, Missouri, Thursday and promised an open investigation into the police shooting of Michael Brown to ensure "justice is done," ABC's JONATHAN KARL reports. "Now is the time for healing. Now is the time for peace and calm on the streets of Ferguson," the president told reporters in Martha's Vineyard, where he is on vacation with his family. "Now is the time for an open and transparent process to see that justice is done." The president said he spoke Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon Thursday morning. "I expressed my concern over the violent turn that events have taken on the ground, and underscored that now's the time for all of us to reflect on what's happened and to find a way to come together going forward," the president said. This is the first time the president has spoken publicly about events in Ferguson since the Brown, 18, was shot by a still-unnamed police officer. Obama urged restraint by both law enforcement and protesters. http://abcn.ws/1mNIVC8
OBAMA: 'WE BROKE THE ISIL SIEGE OF MT. SINJAR'. President Obama said Thursday the military and humanitarian assistance to protect an Iraqi religious minority group under siege by a terrorist organization had been a success, but indicated that U.S. airstrikes would continue, reports ABC's ERIN DOOLEY. The airdrops delivered more than 114,000 meals and 35,000 gallons of fresh water to the Yadizis, Obama said while on vacation on Martha's Vineyard. The Yazidis faced "a terrible choice: starve on the mountain or be slaughtered on the ground. That's when America came to help," Obama said. "The bottom line is, is that the situation on the mountain has greatly improved and Americans should be very proud of our efforts," Obama said, adding "I could not be prouder of the men and women of our military who carried out this humanitarian operation almost flawlessly." Just before the president spoke, however, a spokesperson from the United Nations' emergency relief organization said the situation on Mount Sinjar remains "dire." "Several thousand Yazidis" are still stranded on the mountain, "putting a massive strain on everyone," said Kieran Dwyer, Chief of Communications for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. http://abcn.ws/1kENL9F
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
FROM TANNING TO SHOVELING DUNG: WHAT CONGRESS IS DOING ON ITS SUMMER VACATION. Forbes may have rated DC the coolest city in the nation - but lawmakers off for the August recess often find more to love in their home districts than in Washington. From Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy shoveling dung on a farm to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul preforming eye surgery, ABC's ERIN DOOLEY has the scoop with what your legislators are up to over the August recess. http://abcn.ws/VpCSMS
@bethreinhard: Taxpayers pick up the bill when Mayor Bill de Blasio hits the road on personal out-of-state trips http://on.wsj.com/1oTqfWt
@jdistaso: . @SenScottBrown camp releases web video of his recent climb up Mt. Washington w/ @SenJeb #nhsen #nhpolitics https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okidIA_S0eE&feature=youtu.be …
@JesseFFerguson: BREAKING: DCCC IE launches ad against GOP Cong. Southerland #FL02 #OnOffense http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/dccc-jumps-into-cd2-race-with-ad-against-southerland/2193105 …