Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* The Congressional Leadership Fund, a very well-funded super PAC allied with the House Republican leadership, has reportedly created “34 offices running mini-campaigns for vulnerable Republicans throughout the country.”
* The same week Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) won his Senate primary race in Pennsylvania, Republican officials are expressing concerns about his viability. One party strategist told the Washington Examiner, “The sense is, nobody knows what the f*** he’s doing. He’s not really working it hard. It’s a sad thing, because people like Lou.”
* Why is former Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) doing so well in Tennessee’s Senate race against Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R)? A new Vanderbilt University poll found the former governor with a “significant” advantage among independent voters, and even a majority of Republicans “say they have a favorable view of Bredesen.”
* In an announcement that jolted Connecticut’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz decided to end her statewide campaign and instead become Ned Lamont’s running mate.
* In Ohio, outgoing Gov. John Kasich (R) initially hedged on supporting state Attorney General Mike DeWine’s (R) gubernatorial candidacy – Kasich backed his rival ahead of last week’s primary – but the incumbent has since come around and announced this week he’ll “definitely” vote for his party’s nominee.
* In Wisconsin’s Senate race, state Sen. Leah Vukmir was the overwhelming favorite at the state Republican Party convention and received the GOP’s official endorsement, but she’ll still have to face Kevin Nicholson in an August primary. The winner will take on Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) in the fall.
* On a related note, Vukmir’s latest campaign pitch is that Baldwin is on “Team Terrorist” because the senator opposes Gina Haspel’s nomination to lead the CIA.
* And finally, in a sign of the times, Alabama congressional hopeful Rich Hobson (R) is raffling off an AR-15 rifle at an upcoming campaign event. Hobson is perhaps best known for helping run Roy Moore’s failed Senate campaign late last year.