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 a big surprise, Rep. Tim Griffin (R) of Arkansas announced this morning that he’ll retire at the end of this Congress, after having served just two terms. It’s considered a “red” district, though former North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Henry Hays (D) is expected to launch a bid for this seat tomorrow.
* A new CNN poll found a 54% majority of Americans believe it’s bad for the country that Republicans control the House of Representatives. CNN pollster added, “This is the first time since the Republicans won back control of the House in the 2010 elections that a majority say their control of the chamber is bad for the country.”
* New Jersey’s largest newspaper, the Star-Ledger, editorialized over the weekend that Gov. Chris Christie (R) is “hostile to low-income families,” has been a “catastrophe on the environment,” has relied on “fraudulent” budget claims, and overall is simply “overrated,” adding, “His spin is way ahead of his substance.” The paper’s editorial board then endorsed his re-election anyway.
*Speaking of endorsements, the Richmond Times Dispatch generally endorses Republican candidates. This morning, the paper’s editorial board said it isn’t endorsing anyone in the gubernatorial race, preferring “none of the above.”
* In Louisiana’s 5th congressional district, GOP state Sen. Neil Riser and Republican businessman Vance McAllister have advanced to a Nov. 16 runoff. The election is needed to fill a vacancy left by Rep. Rodney Alexander (R), who resigned in September to take a job in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s (R) cabinet.
* And in Arizona, gubernatorial hopeful Christine Jones, a former executive of the internet company GoDaddy, sang a song last week celebrating Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (R). “It turns out that [Arpaio] does a lot of cool stuff that nobody knows about,” Jones said at one point. “Do you know this guy goes down into the desert and puts out water so people won’t die coming across the Rio Grande?” For the record, the Rio Grande is nowhere near Arizona.