Friday’s Campaign Round-Up, 1.19.18

Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.

* The U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked a lower court’s order on North Carolina’s gerrymandered congressional districts yesterday. The impact will be significant: the move will almost certainly leave the current, Republican-rigged map in place for the 2018 midterms.

* A new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Donald Trump with a 39% approval rating, “the lowest mark in the poll’s history for any modern president ending his first year.” Last month, the same poll showed the president with a 41% approval rating.

* Speaking of polling, the new Pew Research Center survey shows Democrats with a sizable advantage over Republicans on the generic congressional ballot, 53% to 39%.

* In Ohio, Republicans made every effort to recruit author J.D. Vance to run for the Senate this year, but this morning, he declined, saying, it’s “just not a good time.”

* In Mississippi, Brandon Presley, a leader on the state Public Service Commission, was the Democrats’ top choice to run for the Senate, but he announced yesterday that he’s skipping the race.

* Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) announced this week that he’s running for re-election to the U.S. House, which wouldn’t ordinarily be notable, except GOP officials hoped he’d run for either governor or the U.S. Senate.

* Remember Ned Lamont? The Connecticut Democrat generated national attention when he defeated Joe Lieberman in a 2006 primary – Lieberman ended up running as an independent and winning – and though he’s kept a relatively low political profile since, Lamont announced this week that he’s running for governor.