Thursday’s Campaign Round-Up, 8.31.17

Updated

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

* During his speech about tax reform yesterday in Missouri, Donald Trump went after Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in a way that raises some awkward legal questions.

* In Florida’s U.S. Senate race, it’s not yet clear if Gov. Rick Scott (R) will take on incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D), but if does, it would likely be a very close race. A Florida Atlantic University poll released this week found Nelson leading Scott by just two points, 42% to 40%.

* In an interview with the Washington Post, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he believes Medicare for All is a winning issue for Democrats, but he doesn’t consider it a “litmus test” for candidates.

* On a related note, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), rumored to be a possible 2020 contender, announced yesterday that she will now sign on as a co-sponsor to Sanders’ single-payer proposal.

* In a bit of a surprise, four Republican House candidates in competitive Minnesota districts declined this week to say they’d support Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House. It makes me wonder how common this will be among GOP contenders in 2018.

* In his official Senate campaign announcement, Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) said he wants to “make Pennsylvania and America great again.” And while that wasn’t exactly subtle about the congressman’s political leanings, it’s worth noting that Trump did win Pennsylvania last year – the first Republican to do so in nearly three decades.

* And in Ohio, Jerry Springer – yes, that Jerry Springer – is apparently mulling a gubernatorial campaign next year as a Democrat. While he’s known for hosting a trashy syndicated talk show, Springer was the mayor of Cincinnati in the late 1970s.