Thursday’s Campaign Round-Up, 10.25.18

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

* A new USA Today/Suffolk poll, released this morning, found Democrats leading Republicans on the generic ballot, 51% to 43%. In August, the same poll showed Dems with an 11-point advantage.

* The same poll, by the way, found most Americans said Donald Trump would have a significant impact on their congressional vote: “35% who are casting their ballot to show their opposition to him, 23% to show their support.”

* In one of the more memorable debate moments of the year, Florida gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Gillum (D) said of Ron DeSantis (R) last night, “First of all, he’s got neo-Nazis helping him out in the state. He has spoken at racist conferences; he’s accepted a contribution – and would not return it – from someone who referred to the former President of the United States as a ‘Muslim [n-word].’ When asked to return that money, he said no. He’s using that money to now fund negative ads. Now, I’m not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist; I’m simply saying the racists believe he’s a racist.”

* In a very rare poll of South Dakota’s gubernatorial race, a Mason-Dixon survey suggests it’s shaping up to be one of the nation’s closest contests: Billie Sutton (D) and Kristi Noem (R) are tied at 45% each.

* As Rachel noted on the show last night, a federal judge yesterday told Georgia election officials that they “must stop rejecting absentee ballots and applications because of a mismatched signature without first giving voters a chance to fix the problem.”

* And speaking of Georgia, the latest NBC News/Marist poll of the state’s closely watched gubernatorial race found Brian Kemp (R) narrowly ahead of Stacey Abrams (D) among likely voters, 49% to 47%. When Libertarian Ted Metz is added to the mix, the poll found Kemp’s lead at just one point, 46% to 45%.

* In New York’s 27th congressional district, the Wall Street Journal  reports that incumbent Rep. Chris Collins (R) “has been running something of a stealth campaign since he was arrested Aug. 8 and charged in federal court in Manhattan with participating in an insider-trading scheme…. [T]he congressman has skipped debates and hasn’t publicly advertised campaign appearances.”

* And in Maine, which is experimenting with ranked-choice voting for the first time, Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R) was asked this week whether he’ll accept the outcome of the race. The Republican incumbent in the state’s 2nd congressional district wouldn’t answer the question directly, prompting speculation about possible litigation.