Today’s installment of campaign-related news items that won’t necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:
* In Iowa, the latest Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll shows Gov. Scott Walker leading the 2016 Republican field with 15% support, up from 4% in October. Sen. Rand Paul was second with 14%, followed by former Gov. Mike Huckabee with 10%. No other remaining candidate reached double digits.
* As expected, Republican presidential hopefuls spent the last few days showering Mitt Romney with praise, despite weeks of quietly trashing his apparent interest in a third campaign. Candidates are, of course, racing to curry favor with the former candidate’s donors.
* Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), an early and enthusiastic supporter of the Obama campaign in 2008, announced this morning he’s supporting as-yet-unannounced Hillary Clinton’s 2016 bid.
* I guess it’s going to be this kind of year: “Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the 2016 field’s most prolific adopter of social media, has posted what aides wryly call a ‘secret tape’ of a fake phone call between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. RAND PAC, Paul’s political organization, used actors to enact the conversation, which hits both rivals on the dynasty issue.”
* Republican officials in Nebraska, still annoyed that President Obama won one of their electoral votes six years ago, are pushing to create a winner-take-all system for Nebraska’s five votes in the electoral college. Nebraska and Maine are the only states that divvy up their electoral votes by congressional district.
* New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) spent the weekend in, of all places, London, presumably in the hopes of bolstering his foreign policy bona fides. He made some striking comments about vaccinations, which we’ll discuss in the next post.
* Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said yesterday that if he were president, he’d nominate Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) to serve as a Supreme Court justice. Gowdy, a former prosecutor, is perhaps best known for leading one of Congress’ eight committees investigating the 2012 Benghazi attack.
* There have been some reports that former Gov. Ted Strickland (D) will take on Sen. Rob Portman (R) next year, but at least as of this morning, Strickland’s official line is that he’s still weighing his options.
* And in an apparent bid to remind the political world that he’s still around, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (R) published a poorly written op-ed over the weekend, arguing that the nation needs “a president who believes in America.” Gilmore was also in Iowa last week, telling reporters that he’s eyeing the 2016 race. It would be Gilmore’s second presidential bid, following a largely ignored 2008 race. (The same year, he quit the presidential race to take on Sen. Mark Warner (D) – and Gilmore lost by 31 points.)