Friday’s Campaign Round-Up, 2.8.19

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

* Just four months after barely winning re-election, Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) announced yesterday that he’ll retire at the end of this term. His suburban-Atlanta district backed Donald Trump in 2016 by six points, but it also backed Stacey Abrams’ (D) gubernatorial campaign last year by one point.

* I found this analysis from Politico on former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Sherrod Brown to be quite compelling: “They’re chasing the same potential supporters, touting the same themes and even using some of the same language to go after President Donald Trump. And Brown, kicking off a pre-campaign tour of key presidential voting states last week, made clear that if he gets into the race he intends to run, essentially, as Biden without the baggage.”

* Nevertheless, ahead of a possible candidacy, Biden continues to reach out to congressional Democrats about their support, including recent conversations with Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), and Bob Casey (D-Pa.).

* I’m skeptical of the idea that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) will be vulnerable during his re-election bid next year, but if anyone can launch a credible challenge against him, it’s former S.C. Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison, who’s kicking off an “exploratory committee” today.

* The Associated Press reported yesterday that Priorities USA, one of the nation’s leading outside groups associated with Democratic politics, is launching a $30 million effort to “register voters, push ballot measures that expand voter rights and fight Republican-backed laws in court that restrict ballot access.”

* State election laws in New Jersey would allow Sen. Cory Booker (D) to run for president and for re-election to the U.S. Senate simultaneously. For now, however, he says he’s not prepared to make a firm decision about whether to pursue such a course.

* And during a speech in which he tried to share some of his thoughts on governing, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz argued yesterday, “Health care costs are the biggest driver of unaffordable care.” I still think it’ll be a while before he’s ready for prime time. (Then again, I also think it’ll be a while before Donald Trump is ready for prime time, and he’s currently in his third year as president.)