Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Shortly before the 2018 midterms, Joe Biden delivered a paid speech in Michigan, where he offered praise for Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), a Democratic target in a competitive race who ended up narrowly winning. “I read in New York Times today … that one of my problems is if I ever run for president, I like Republicans,” Biden said at a conference this morning. “Bless me father for I have sinned.”
* Will Secretary of State Mike Pompeo leave Donald Trump’s cabinet to run for the U.S. Senate in Kansas? “Lots of folks have reached out to me and suggested I ought to do that,” he told Fox News yesterday. “I have suggested to them that I have a very full plate as secretary of state, and I intend to keep doing this, so long as President Trump will commit to it.”
* Ahead of a possible rematch against Rep. Steve King (R) in Iowa next year, J.D. Scholten (D) is launching “Working Hero Iowa,” a new anti-poverty non-profit organization, which is focusing on helping Iowans take advantage of the earned income tax credit. King defeated Scholten by just three points last year.
* As it turns out, not every Democratic senator is eyeing the White House: Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), rumored to be a possible presidential aspirant, wrote on Twitter yesterday, “I’ve been pretty transparent about this, but let me be 100% clear: I’m not running in 2020. I love the job I have now.”
* Facing term limits and unable to run again for her current post, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) considered a gubernatorial race this year, but yesterday, she announced she wouldn’t run for any office in 2019. Of course, there are other races to consider in 2020 – when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), who defeated Lundergan Grimes in 2014, will be up for re-election.
* In Illinois this week, the State Board of Elections yesterday voted unanimously to leave the Crosscheck voter database program. The system became widely controversial after former Kansas Secretary Kris Kobach (R) expanded it after the 2010 midterms.
* And for those who enjoy spending time with interactive electoral maps – a group that includes me – the estimable Taegan Goddard has unveiled a newly designed project, which I just bookmarked.