Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* As he prepares for another possible presidential campaign, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has unveiled the “For The 99.8 Percent Act,” which, as the name implies, would impose significant new taxes on the top 0.2% of Americans.
* Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, eyeing a possible independent presidential campaign, is reportedly “gearing up” for visits to early primary and caucus states, including Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. Since he’s not running in primaries, it’s not altogether clear why he’s doing this, unless Schultz is simply trying to spend more time around reporters.
* Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D) announced yesterday that her state is leaving the Crosscheck voter database program, which comes on the heels of Illinois doing the same thing earlier in the month. The system became widely controversial after former Kansas Secretary Kris Kobach (R) expanded it after the 2010 midterms.
* Speaking of Colorado, three years ago, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) announced he couldn’t support Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy. This week, however, Gardner – who’s likely to face a tough re-election campaign next year – said he will support Trump’s 2020 campaign.
* Trump surprised many in 2016 when he narrowly won Michigan, carrying the state by less than half a percentage point. Will he be able to pull off the same feat next year? A new poll commissioned by the Detroit News found the president trailing the leading Democratic candidates by significant margins in hypothetical match-ups.
* On a related note, Trump won Utah in 2016, despite finishing with less than 50% of the vote in the state. Looking ahead, a new Salt Lake Tribune-Hinckley Institute of Politics poll found 54% of Utahans opposed to the president’s re-election.
* And though we don’t yet have the relevant details, former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld is reportedly prepared to launch a presidential campaign of his own. Weld was a Republican governor, but in 2016, he was the Libertarian Party’s vice presidential nominee. His current party affiliation is not yet clear.