Monday’s Campaign Round-Up, 12.5.16

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

* In a bit of a surprise, former Gov. Howard Dean, who had hoped to reclaim his job as DNC chair, suddenly withdrew his candidacy on Friday afternoon.

* On a related note, one of the concerns surrounding Rep. Keith Ellison’s (D-Minn.) DNC bid is that he’d be a part-time chairman, splitting his time between the party and his congressional duties. On Friday, Ellison said he’s considering resigning from his House seat to focus on the DNC leadership post.

* The executive editor of the Associated Press acknowledged the other day that at least one of its reporters had to be pulled off the campaign trail due to a “dangerous situation.” In context, the situation appeared to involve threats posed by Donald Trump supporters.

* The president-elect once again turned to his phone late on Saturday night to complain about NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” being “totally biased.”

* On a related note, Alec Baldwin, a former MSNBC host who portrays Trump regularly on the sketch-comedy show, said he’d stop impersonating Trump if the president-elect agreed to release his tax returns.

* Trump made a surprise appearance over the weekend at a “Heroes and Villians” costume party hosted by an influential Republican megadonor, billionaire Robert Mercer. Kellyanne Conway used the occasion to refer to Trump as “the ultimate hero.”

* With time running out in Louisiana’s U.S. Senate runoff, Pence appeared on behalf of John Kennedy (R) on Saturday, the same day Trump used his Twitter account to declare his support for the far-right candidate.

* On Friday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) became the first member of Congress to announce he’s boycotting Trump’s presidential inauguration.

* Former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), who had been rumored as a possible cabinet secretary in the Trump administration, blasted Trump’s Carrier deal on Friday as “crony capitalism.”

* And while Republican voters have traditionally not been big fans of the Electoral College, the latest Gallup poll found a sharp increase in GOP support for the system. Four years ago, Gallup found that a majority of self-identified Republicans wanted to switch to a popular-vote system. Now, their support for such a change has fallen from 54% to 19%.