Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Donald Trump was asked this morning whether the United Kingdom would remain the United States’ first call when Americans need support. “I don’t know, first call or second call,” the Republican said. “They’ll be a very powerful call.”
* Trump’s campaign announced yesterday that the Republican candidate has “forgiven more than $50 million in loans he made to finance his presidential bid.” This was a key sticking point in fundraising efforts: donors had reason to balk at the idea of making contributions that would end up in Trump’s pocket.
* In Illinois, where Sen. Mark Kirk (R) is facing a tough re-election fight, the Republican incumbent has launched a new television ad that stresses his opposition to Trump.
* In North Carolina, a new PPP poll shows Trump leading Hillary Clinton in the state by only two points, 48% to 46%. Clinton would be ahead, but many Bernie Sanders supporters in North Carolina, at least for now, are still balking at the presumptive Democratic nominee.
* The same poll found incumbent Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) with a surprisingly modest lead over Deborah Ross in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race, 40% to 37%. Libertarian Sean Haugh is third with 5%.
* In Florida this morning, Senate hopeful Todd Wilcox became the latest Republican to quit the race, throwing his support to Marco Rubio. This isn’t necessarily good news for the incumbent: land developer Carlos Beruff is still in the race, and now there’s no one left to split the anti-Rubio vote.
* Texas-based ad maker Lionel Sosa, a longtime Republican consultant who worked for Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaigns, announced this week he’ll leave the GOP altogether if Trump received the party’s presidential nomination.
* And though I’m skeptical of the results, Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based pollster, released results yesterday showing Clinton leading Trump in Arizona, 46.5% to 42.2%. Note, Arizona has voted the Republican ticket in 15 of the last 16 presidential elections.