Mark Halperin's Daybook

Why the Democrats' $1 million South Dakota gambit is a smart investment.

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The Senate math, scenarios explored:

MT + WV + AR + LA = 4 of 6

+ IA + AK = 6 of 6

BUT - KS and/or - GA and/or - SD = GOP need for up to 3 more offsets among CO + NH + NC

At this point, Ds' chances of holding the majority increase exponentially for each of KS, GA, and SD they can swipe.

Which is why the Ds' 1-million-buck SD gambit is a smart investment.

The biggest two questions there: Can anyone convince Mike Rounds that negative ads are essential to victory? And/but can outside-group negative ads effectively fill the gap?

At 5 p.m. President Obama touches down in Los Angeles and heads to Santa Monica, where he will discuss the economy at Cross Campus, before delivering remarks at a DNC event at the home of actress Gwyneth Paltrow at 8:45 p.m. (print pool only). Note to the president: If you don't know it already, a lot of the people at the Paltrow place agree with Leon Panetta about the law professor thing, the check-writing notwithstanding. #goop

Hillary Clinton hosts a fundraiser for Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor in New York City this morning before attending a 5 p.m. women's event in Philadelphia for Tom Wolf, the Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania governor. The Philly event is where we might finally hear the long-awaited Hillary Clinton midterm stump speech.

Chris Christie will also be in Pennsylvania, stumping for Governor Tom Corbett at a 4 p.m. rally in Wayne, then traveling to Bryn Mawr for a a private fundraiser at 5:30 p.m. This is generous of Mr. Christie, since he is busy and the RGA knows this race is a lost cause. Biggest '16 news of the day so far: George F. Will seems to HEART Christie, giving him the columnizing treatment he used to lavish on Mitch Daniels.

Governor John Kasich holds a campaign event with International Union of Operating Engineers Local 18 in Cleveland at 11 a.m. and a Get Out the Vote rally in Canton at 2 p.m. Regardless of your political inclinations, ask yourself why Kasich, for a time as polarizing as Rick Scott and Scott Walker, is cruising to re-election.

At 6:30 p.m. Senator Rand Paul will be the featured speaker at the Show-Me Institute Freedom Celebration in St. Louis.

Mike Huckabee hosts a 10:30 a.m. news conference in support of GOP Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson. At 12:30 p.m., Huckabee will be on the stump for Senate candidate Tom Cotton in Fort Smith, Ark.

At 11:30 a.m., Rick Perry will visit U.S. Army troops at Fort Hood who will soon deploy to West Africa to help fight the spread of Ebola. Rick Santorum will appear at a 9 a.m. rally in Troy, Ala., for Republican Attorney General Luther Strange. Then he’s off to Birmingham, where he’ll attend two events: a 1:30 p.m. luncheon fundraiser for Patriot Voices PAC and a 6:30 p.m. fundraiser for the Jefferson County GOP.

Senator Pat Roberts starts his four-day bus tour of Kansas. First stop: Senator Ted Cruz will stump for Roberts at 1 p.m. in Wichita, followed a 6:30 p.m. event in Topeka with Senators Tom Coburn and Jerry Moran.

At 7 p.m. Senator Kay Hagan, Republican Thom Tillis, and Libertarian Sean Haugh will have a Senate debate in Wilmington. Watch live at WNCN.com.

In Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner will square off in a 60-minute televised debate in Peoria at 9 p.m. Watch here. 

Vice President Joe Biden continues his West Coast campaign swing in Seattle at 3 p.m. with an event to raise money for six female Democratic Senate candidates.

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