Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Monmouth University’s last poll of Iowa Democrats before Monday’s caucuses shows a very close contest, with Hillary Clinton ahead by five points over Bernie Sanders, 47% to 42%. PPP, meanwhile, shows Clinton ahead by eight points, 48% to 40%.
* The influential Culinary Union in Nevada is not at all pleased with the Sanders campaign, accusing the candidate’s staffers “of posing as union employees in order to gain access to worker dining rooms in hotels along the Las Vegas strip.” Team Sanders was also accused yesterday of sending out misleading mailers with the AARP logo, which was used without permission.
* Responding to Ted Cruz’s request for a one-on-one debate, Donald Trump’s campaign manager said the GOP frontrunner would agree, but only if Cruz is ruled eligible for the presidential race by a federal judge.
* The Tampa Bay Times, Florida’s largest newspaper, endorsed Jeb Bush yesterday in the Republican primary. The paper, which urged Marco Rubio to resign his Senate seat if he wasn’t going to use it, added that Marco Rubio is “a likeable opportunist with a persuasive sales pitch but a thin record of accomplishment.”
* The Cruz campaign is under a lot of pressure to perform well in Iowa, but the Texas Republican’s campaign manager reminded reporters this morning that the operation has $19 million in the bank as of Dec. 31 and is built for the long haul.
* In Wisconsin, the new Marquette Law School Poll shows Russ Feingold (D) leading Ron Johnson (R) in this year’s U.S. Senate race by 13 points, Trump leading Rubio in the state’s Republican presidential primary by six points, and Clinton leading Sanders in the state’s Democratic primary by just two points.
* Though Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has strongly hinted that he intends to run for a third term in 2018, the Marquette Law School Poll found 61% of Wisconsin residents do not want the governor to run again.
* Many have argued that the only people excited by the prospect of a Michael Bloomberg presidential campaign are Republican officials and candidates. Helping prove the point, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said yesterday a Bloomberg candidacy “would be a blessing.”
* According to ABC, the next debate for the Republican presidential field will not have a kids-table debate before the prime-time event. The next gathering is scheduled for a week from tomorrow.
* And to no one’s surprise, Louisiana State Treasurer John Kennedy (R) kicked off his Senate campaign this week. He hopes to succeed retiring Sen. David Vitter (R).