Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* A new CNN poll shows Hillary Clinton maintaining a double-digit national lead in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, but the advantage has shrunk considerably. The new results show Clinton with 37%, followed by Bernie Sanders’ 27%, and Vice President Biden at 20%.
* Speaking of Biden, as Rachel noted last night, the VP sat down with Stephen Colbert last night, where he seemed far from ready to commit to the 2016 race.
* Voters in Illinois’ 18th congressional district, one of the state’s most Republican areas, elected state Sen. Darin LaHood (R) to replace disgraced former Rep. Aaron Schock (R) in a special election yesterday. LaHood, the son of a former congressman, defeated his Democratic rival by 38 points.
* The next debate for the GOP presidential field is on Wednesday, and CNN announced the line-ups last night. The most interesting takeaway is that the 10-candidate prime-time event will now feature 11 candidates. (Expect a lot of “Spinal Tap” jokes between now and Wednesday night.)
* Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, under pressure to increase the number of Democratic debates, told reporters yesterday she has no intention of changing the schedule. “We’re having six debates – period,” the Florida congresswoman said.
* In Louisiana’s gubernatorial race, now just a couple of months away, a reporter for a Baton Rouge TV station claims he was fired for asking Sen. David Vitter (R) about prostitutes. The far-right senator, whose career was largely unaffected by his hooker issue, is widely seen as the frontrunner in this year’s statewide contest.
* In the state of Washington, Sen. Patty Murray (D) picked up a Republican challenger this week, when former state GOP Chairman Chris Vance kicked off his campaign.
* And in Arkansas, Sen. John Boozman (R) also picked up an opponent this week, with former U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge (D) announcing his Senate bid.