Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* The Associated Press reported yesterday on a historic electoral breakthrough: “The number of women running for the U.S. House of Representatives set a record Thursday, most of them Democrats motivated by angst over President Donald Trump and policies of the Republican-controlled Congress.”
* At his event in West Virginia yesterday, Trump invited two of the three Republicans running for the U.S. Senate this year: Rep. Evan Jenkins and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. He did not, however, invite former coal executive Don Blankenship.
* At the same event, for no apparent reason, the president talked about winning Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Michigan in the 2016 election – which was 17 months ago.
* The latest Cook Political Report analysis on the 2018 midterms reported, “Our latest ratings feature 55 competitive seats (Toss Up or Lean Democratic/Republican), including 50 currently held by Republicans and five held by Democrats…. We continue to view Democrats the slight favorites for House control.” This new report changed the ratings for 13 districts, and all 13 moved in the Democrats’ favor.
* In Mississippi this morning, former Rep. Mike Espy (D) officially kicked off his U.S. Senate campaign, running for the seat Sen. Thad Cochran (R) gave up for health reasons. His campaign operation recently commissioned a poll showing him doing well in the race, but the survey didn’t include some of the other Democratic candidates.
* To the surprise of no one, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) yesterday launched a campaign to get his old job back. Pawlenty is trying to make the transition back to elected office following a stint as the head of a banking lobbying group.
* And in Massachusetts, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) was asked yesterday whether she’ll serve a full, six-year term if she’s re-elected this November. In a response that struck me as carefully worded, the incumbent senator, rumored to be eyeing a 2020 presidential campaign, responded, “Yes, that’s my plan. I’m running for the United States Senate in 2018. I am not running for president of the United States. That’s my plan.” (What Warren didn’t say is that plans sometimes change.)