Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* With eight weeks remaining in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, the polls are all over the place, but nearly all of them show the Democrat with at least some kind of advantage. The latest Mason-Dixon poll, for example, show Ralph Northam (D) with the narrowest of leads over Ed Gillespie (R), 44% to 43%.
* In Alabama’s Senate Republican primary, not only will Donald Trump host an event for appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R) over the weekend, but Mike Pence will also travel to Alabama on Monday to support the senator the day before the runoff election.
* Speaking of Alabama, Senate hopeful Doug Jones (D), an underdog in his ruby-red state, will get a hand from former Vice President Joe Biden, who announced yesterday he’ll campaign with Jones next month.
* In New Jersey’s gubernatorial race, which is also coming right up, Republicans have low expectations for Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno’s (R) candidacy, but the Republican Governors Association nevertheless launched a new attack ad this week targeting Phil Murphy (D). The ad is only 15 seconds – television commercials are usually 30 seconds – so I’m not sure what venue the RGA has in mind for the spot.
* Given Republicans’ obsession with voting irregularities, it’s a little ironic that Jeffrey Gerrish, Trump’s nominee to be a deputy U.S. trade representative, has been accused of voting in Virginia in 2016, months after having moved to Maryland.
* In West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice recently switched parties to become a Republican, but to his new party’s disappointment, the governor announced this week he’s supporting Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D) re-election anyway.
* The latest statewide poll in Michigan shows incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) with a big lead in a hypothetical match-up against conservative entertainer Kid Rock, 52% to 34%. Rock, a Trump supporter, hasn’t announced his plans, but appears to be weighing a Republican candidacy.