CNN's John King and other top political reporters empty out their notebooks each Sunday on "Inside Politics" to reveal five things that will be in the headlines in the days, weeks and months ahead.
1. The next Chamber of Commerce target
The Chamber of Commerce spent big to help Sen. Thad Cochran in the runoff, including paying for an ad featuring Mississippi hero Brett Favre urging a vote for the GOP incumbent.
That investment paid off with a Cochran win. And more.
From the time the results were clear Tuesday night through close of business Friday, I'm told the Chamber raised more than $3 million for its 2014 campaign war chest.
Up next? Stay tuned. The chamber is watching two tea party challenges to Senate incumbents, in Kansas and Tennessee. At the moment it thinks Senators Pat Roberts and Lamar Alexander are in good shape, but will track those races and the House primary in Georgia for the seat being vacated by Senate candidate Rep. Jack Kingston.
Also being discussed: whether to try to turn the tables by targeting a House tea party incumbent. One leading possibility is … Rep. Justin Amash.
2. Bleak views of the economy could depress minority turnout
The Cook Political Report's Amy Walter fleshed out a troubling dynamic for Democrats: deep economic pessimism among a voting block the party desperately needs to turnout this November.
Democrats traditionally have a turnout problem, especially in a midterm year, and the economic pessimism blanketing much of the country is particularly strong among a key segment of the Democratic coalition: minority voters.
Amy cites this sobering drop: in 2012, 70% of non-white voters said they didn’t think things were good now but they believed things could be better in a year. But now only 50% of non-white voters think that things are going to be better a year from now.
“You need to turn out your base in a midterm election –and that’s the kind of voters that Democrats really need, “ said Walter.
Another factor that might be an issue-here’s a slide from NAACP 2012 battleground poll highlighting their concern about African-American turnout in a post-Obama election climate:
3. Revenge of the GOP Hawks in Cochran Race
Most of the attention in the wake of Sen. Thad Cochran's surprise win in last week's Mississippi Senate runoff has focused on the successful effort to woo African-American support.
But the Washington Post's Robert Costa also tells us Cochran's pro defense focus in the final days also helped and that one of the untold lessons of that battle is that it’s OK to be a hawk.
"He really played up his military record –he brought in John McCain in the final days of the campaign,” said Costa. “On the ground, I saw that that really helped with veterans and military personnel and I think across the country some other Republicans may be taking that as a lesson.”
4. A Sober Assessment of Iraq's New Battlefield
Steve Inskeep of NPR had a sober assessment to share after checking in with his deep reservoir of sources tracking the march of ISIS in Iraq.
Experts tell him that ISIS, the group that has taken over much of Northern Iraq, is just too weak to do very much more than they have but is too strong to be easily dislodged.
“That raises the prospect of a war that goes on for several years, that overshadows the end of Obama’s presidency, that is some kind of a factor potentially in a presidential campaign or at the least will be left to the next president to decide,” said Inskeep.
A map of Iraq’s ethnic divide and how it plays into the conflict:
5. A Promise for Sustained Focus on a Campus Crisis
NPR's Juana Summers shared reporting of an effort to make a sustained fight against campus sexual assault.
Department of Education officials testifying before Congress say the issue has been ignored for far too long.
Dozens of schools are being investigated by the Department of Education and the Justice Department on these Title IX violations.
"I don’t doubt that there is will on Capitol Hill to deal with this issue,” said Summers. “The question is what do they do with it.”
Hope to see you next Sunday.