Friday’s Campaign Round-Up, 4.14.17

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

* Iowa’s Republican-run legislature has approved a new voter-ID law, despite no evidence of  voter impersonation in the state. The Nation’s Ari Berman reported, “The ACLU of Iowa reports that 11 percent of eligible Iowa voters—260,000 people—don’t have a driver’s license or non-operator ID, according to the US Census and the Iowa Department of Transportation, and could be disenfranchised by the bill.”

* On a related note, Iowa’s legislation now heads to Gov. Terry Branstad (R), who’s likely to sign it, though it doesn’t include a provision he likes: the Republican governor wants to see polls close earlier so people wouldn’t have to “wait up so late to see what the election results are.”

* In Connecticut, Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) has decided not to run for a third term. For Republicans, that’s not necessarily good news: the Connecticut GOP saw the governor as highly vulnerable in 2018.

* In Montana’s congressional special election, Rob Quist (D) was asked yesterday if national Democrats are likely to come to the state to give him a hand. “I don’t think that would necessarily work in my favor,” Quist said, adding, “I think we got this.” The election, which national Republicans are starting to take very seriously, is on May 25.

* In Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) relatively recent embrace of Democratic politics continues to be a point of contention. He acknowledges having voted for George W. Bush, and Politico reported yesterday, “Northam says he can’t remember whether he backed Democrats in any governor or Senate races.”

* In Illinois last week, Democrats won several local races where Republicans traditionally dominate.

* In 2018 Senate races, Republicans have all kinds of built-in structural advantages, but in light of Trump’s unpopularity, the party is struggling with recruiting top-tier contenders.

* Donald Trump said this week that he “didn’t know” strategist Stephen Bannon until he joined the campaign team last year. As it turns out, that’s not quite right.

* And in fundraising news, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $13.2 million in March and $31 million in the first quarter, which are strong numbers, but short of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s totals. The NRCC raised $15.5 million in March and $36 million in the first quarter.