Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Hillary Clinton has picked up an endorsement from AFSCME, the nation’s largest public-sector union. Two-thirds of AFSCME’s executive board voted to back Clinton over her rivals.
* The hour after last week’s Benghazi hearing ended was the best hour for Clinton campaign fundraising all year. (Democratic officials really ought to send congressional Republicans a thank-you note.)
* Though Bernie Sanders has generally sworn off criticisms of his rivals, the Vermont senator delivered pointed remarks to Iowa Democrats over the weekend. Though the Independent didn’t call out Clinton by name, Sanders made not-so-subtle jabs at the frontrunner on a variety of issues.
* As hard as this may be to believe, a national Associated Press-GfK poll found that 70% of Republican voters consider Donald Trump the party’s best candidate for the general election.
* Ben Carson wants protection from the Secret Service because, according to him, “I’m in great danger because I challenge the secular progressive movement to the very core.”
* Speaking of the retired right-wing neurosurgeon, Carson also hopes to buck the bipartisan trend and, if elected, would “intensify” the so-called “war on drugs.”
* For months, Trump has been touting his lead in national surveys, but confronted with new polls showing him falling to second place in Iowa, Trump said over the weekend, “I honestly think those polls are wrong.”
* In a bit of a surprise, it turns out Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign has not yet opened an office in South Carolina, a decision that’s “perplexing” some local observers.
* According to Gallup, public support for the Tea Party has “dropped to its lowest level since the movement emerged on the national political scene prior to the 2010 midterm elections.” Just 17% of Americans now consider themselves Tea Party supporters.
* And on Friday, John Kasich appeared on MSNBC and conceded that when it came to rescuing the American auto industry, President Obama “did well on that.”