Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* In a bit of a surprise, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) will not seek the top House Republican leadership post. With Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) retiring, many had expected Scalise to compete with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
* On a related note, McCarthy will probably not run unopposed. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a right-wing firebrand, is reportedly “strongly considering” the race for the top House GOP post.
* In Missouri’s closely watched U.S. Senate race, the latest Mason-Dixon poll shows incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) with the narrowest of leads over state Attorney General Josh Hawley (R), 45% to 44%.
* In New Jersey, the latest Monmouth University poll shows Sen. Bob Menendez’s (D) approval rating taking a hit in the wake of his recent legal troubles, but he nevertheless leads his Republican rival, Bob Hugin, 53% to 32%.
* Speaking of the Garden State, New Jersey’s state Assembly yesterday easily approved automatic voter registration. The measure now goes to the state Senate, where it’s expected to pass.
* In New York, the latest Marist poll suggests Gov. Andrew Cuomo is still favored to prevail in his Democratic primary against Cynthia Nixon: the incumbent leads in the poll, 68% to 21%.
* And Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) was officially sworn in yesterday, leaving Republicans with a slightly smaller, 237-to-193 majority in the House. There are still five vacancies in the chamber.