Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found each of the top contenders for the Democratic nomination leading Donald Trump in hypothetical match-ups. Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) fared the best, leading the president by nine points, while Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) had the smallest advantage, leading Trump by just one point.
* Biden is unveiling his health care blueprint today, and it’s largely based on building on the existing Affordable Care Act. Of particular interest, though, is Biden’s support for a public option – part of the original ACA plan, before it was killed by then-Sen. Joe Lieberman.
* Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) acknowledged yesterday that his paternal great-great-great grandfather owned slaves, and he incorporated this fact into his support for an agenda that would “change this country so that it works for those who have been locked-out of – or locked-up in – this system.”
* In a bit of a surprise, Trump officially endorsed Bill Hagerty’s Republican Senate campaign in Tennessee, which was odd since Hagerty – the current ambassador to Japan – hasn’t yet launched a Senate campaign in Tennessee. (This would also seem to raise fresh Hatch Act questions.)
* California’s state legislature recently approved a measure that would require presidential candidates to release five years’ worth of tax returns before appearing on the ballot. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) hasn’t yet said whether he intends to sign the bill into law, though if he does, it’ll be the first law of its kind in the country. It would also be in effect for the 2020 cycle.
* Though it’s been widely assumed that former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) would run again for elected office, we apparently shouldn’t expect to see his next candidacy anytime soon. Walker has agreed to serve as president of the far-right Young America’s Foundation, and he conceded this would preclude running for anything in 2020 or 2022.
* And when Trump originally scheduled a campaign rally for Wednesday in North Carolina, it appeared designed to coincide with the day of Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony. As far as I can tell, the president’s rally in Greenville is still on, but here’s my question: now that Mueller’s testimony has been pushed back a week, will Trump schedule another rally?