Thursday’s Campaign Round-Up, 3.9.17

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

* If there are any lingering tensions between Tom Perez and Keith Ellison, they’re hiding it very well. The DNC’s chair and deputy chair are reportedly launching a road trip, which they’re calling a “Democratic Turnaround Tour.” The first event is in two weeks in Michigan.

* After months of airing ads touting a Republican health care plan that didn’t exist, the American Action Network is now poised to air new commercials in support of the GOP’s American Health Care Act. The ads will air in the districts of 30 House Freedom Caucus members. The American Action Network is aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan’s leadership team.

* In Georgia’s congressional special election, Jon Ossoff (D) launched a new ad this week, telling local voters, “When President Trump embarrasses our country or acts recklessly, I’ll hold him accountable.” Trump narrowly won this traditionally Republican district in the fall.

* Hillary Clinton has kept a relatively low profile this year, but the former Secretary of State appeared at the annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards yesterday, and urged attendees to keep up the “resistance.”

* During a contentious conference call with Bernie Sanders supporters, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), the Senate’s most conservative Democrat, effectively dared his progressive critics to try to defeat him. “What you ought to do is vote me out,” the West Virginian said. “Vote me out! I’m not changing. Find somebody else who can beat me and vote me out.”

* Missouri Republicans would love to defeat Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) next year, but they haven’t yet recruited a top-tier challenger. State Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) this week waved off those encouraging him to run, saying, “I’d like to be left alone to do my job that I got elected to do.”

* New Jersey is one of two states holding gubernatorial races this year, and former Ambassador Phil Murphy (D), a Goldman Sachs veteran, is already airing ads in support of his candidacy. Both parties in the Garden State will hold primaries in early June.

* And as Rachel noted on last night’s show, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) may look like a safe Republican incumbent – he represents a deep-red district in a deep-red state – but his Democratic challenger, Dr. Kathryn Allen, is capitalizing on Chaffetz’s recent missteps and is raising enough money to mount a credible challenge.

Thursday's Campaign Round-Up, 3.9.17