Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Late Friday, a federal court struck down Ohio’s gerrymandered congressional districts as unconstitutional and ordered Republican officials to submit a new map by June 14. It was a major development, though it may soon be rendered moot by conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court, which is scheduled to soon rule on partisan gerrymandering.
* Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a Democratic presidential contender, this morning unveiled an ambitious plan to address gun violence, including a proposal to create a federal gun licensing program.
* Over the weekend, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) unveiled a sweeping agricultural plan, which, among other things, called for breaking up major agriculture corporations and placing a moratorium on future agri-business mergers.
* Sen. Mike Enzi (R) announced over the weekend that he will retire next year rather than seek a fifth term. He’s now the fourth sitting U.S. senator to announce retirement plans ahead of the 2020 cycle, following Sens. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and Tom Udall (D-N.M.).
* Reinforcing suspicions that the White House is concerned about former Vice President Joe Biden’s candidacy, current Vice President Mike Pence told CNBC that his predecessor is “advocating a socialist agenda” – a claim that may come as a surprise to some of Biden’s more progressive critics.
* The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal and Gallup polls both show Donald Trump’s approval rating reaching 46%. While that may sound underwhelming, the president is currently enjoying some of the strongest support he’s seen since taking office.
* Ahead of Pennsylvania’s congressional special election in the 12th district, Trump on Friday tweeted his support for Fred Keller, the heavily favored Republican nominee. Election Day is May 21.
* And as of Friday, Julian Castro crossed the minimum-donor threshold and qualified to participate in the upcoming debates for Democratic presidential candidates. As of this morning, it appears that the only Dems who haven’t yet qualified for the debates are Sen. Michael Bennet, Rep. Seth Moulton, Mayor Wayne Messam, and Marianne Williamson.