Thursday’s Campaign Round-Up, 5.3.18

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

* With time running out in Indiana’s Republican Senate primary, Rep. Todd Rokita’s (R) final pre-primary ad goes after Special Counsel Robert Mueller and vows to fight against the “witch hunt” targeting Donald Trump.

* With time also running out in West Virginia’s Republican Senate primary, Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) has launched a new ad showing his primary rival, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) shaking hands with Hillary Clinton. The trouble is, Morrisey never shook Clinton’s hand – as Yahoo News documented, the commercial relies to manipulated imagery to deceive the public. (I remember a similar Republican ad in 2011.)

* On a related note, a USA Today tally found that Republicans have aired campaign ads this year that mention Clinton literally thousands of times.

* In Florida this week, Democrats won two state legislative special elections, including a four-point victory in a competitive Miami-area state House district. In both cases, however, the seats were previously held by Dems.

* On a related note, a Republican won a state House special election in South Carolina on Tuesday, in a race in which no there was no Democratic candidate.

* There was also a state Senate special election in Massachusetts this week, where the Democrat won with 86% support in a race in which there was no Republican candidate.

* With Donald Trump apparently making it his personal mission to destroy Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), a pro-Trump super PAC and the NRSC have both launched new attack ads against the senator in Montana.

* And while I know there’s a new Suffolk poll on New Hampshire voters’ 2020 presidential preferences, I have some advice to offer: please don’t pay attention to 2020 polling yet. It’s far too early and such polling about candidates who may or may not run is historically unreliable.