• A new Pew Research Center poll shows Republican voters are more enthusiastic than their Democratic fellows to cast ballots in the November midterms. But the “enthusiasm gap” is less than it was in 2010, when the GOP routed the Democrats nationwide. Even so, President Obama is less popular among Democrats now than he was four years ago.

• Republican U.S. Senate nominee Thom Tillis finally may (emphasis may) be able to hit the campaign trail full-time soon, as state House Speaker Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger announce the outlines of a budget deal.

• The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney (a previous John Locke Foundation Headliner speaker) says incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan — Tillis’ opponent in the election — is hypocritical for supporting the Export-Import Bank and claiming she opposes corporate welfare.

• The High Point Enterprise reports on efforts by Democratic “vocal artist” Clay Aiken to catch up with incumbent GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers in the money race in their campaign for the 2nd Congressional District. Aiken also wants to debate Ellmers.