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.
Washington (CNN) – This week’s final trip around the "Inside Politics" table unearthed some glimmers of Democratic hope this midterm election year, a potential replay of sorts in Kansas and a glimpse at Hillary Clinton’s hopes for the Europe leg of her book tour.
1. Hillary Clinton’s European road test
Hillary Clinton spent her Fourth of July across the Atlantic, selling “Hard Choices” to a European audience and, as Politico’s Maggie Haberman shares, looking to move past some of the rocky moments of her book roll out tour.
Clinton has a few more interviews where her allies expect she's going to continue cleaning up a lot of the fallout from the dead-broke gaffe and some of her other missteps.
Then she's going to disappear for most of the summer - in the Hamptons.
And the hope from her allies, according to Maggie, is that she has learned something from what went wrong in the last couple of weeks and will demonstrate that in the fall.
2. Will more incumbents fall?
Leading strategists in both parties say no, or not many, anyway. The question is a hot one since the surprising defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in his primary.
From the Democratic side, leading officials suggest no Democratic incumbents still facing primary challenges are at risk.
One race the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is keeping close tabs on is in Massachusetts, where Rep. John Tierney has a crowded primary. At the moment, though, a top Democrat involved in House strategy says polling and other indicators suggest Tierney will survive the September primary.
On the GOP side, there are long shot challenges to a couple of Senate incumbents still to come – in Kansas and Tennessee. On the House GOP side, there are some concerns raised about two or three incumbents facing challenges in Michigan and Tennessee.
One other wildcard: a looming Florida court ruling on a suit by Democratic leading groups challenging the congressional district lines drawn by the GOP-controlled Florida legislature. That conceivably could reshape a race or three.
3. Will Kansas replay in 2016?
The Kansas Senate GOP primary still to come pits incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts against conservative challenger Milton Wolf.
As of now, odds are Wolf loses next month. But Manu Raju of Politico, just back from Kansas, tells us Wolf is unlikely to go quietly – and that could impact the 2016 re-election bid of the other Kansas senator, Jerry Moran, who also happens to lead the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
One of Wolf’s “red meat” tweets evoking Mississippi:
4. The Democrats’ secret 2016 strategy
Beyond the battle for control of the House and Senate, it is the governor’s races that will get the most attention this year.
But CNN’s Peter Hamby suggests we look down the state ballot a notch or two – at races for secretary of state in key 2016 presidential battlegrounds.
Peter reports the Democratic National Committee and a couple friendly Super PACS are quietly getting involved in secretary of state races in places like Iowa, Ohio, New Mexico and Colorado.
“The goal here obviously is to protect what they see as the rights of voters,” said Hamby. “But also those are all very important states for 2016 to have friendly secretaries of state running elections in big battleground states next year.”
5. All politics is local
Molly Ball of The Atlantic took us inside another down ballot Democratic strategy: looking for gains at the state legislative level.
“Democrats have really gotten their butts kicked in state legislatures in the last couple of cycles,” said Ball. “And that was a lot of what led to the redistricting gains that the Republicans were able to make because of course it is the state legislatures who draw those maps.”
Many of the party’s flip targets are in blue states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and their fundraising is up about 25 percent over the last cycle so they think they can finally turn the tide.
But the GOP is confident that the Democrats’ goals will be an uphill climb in an midterm election year.