Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Ahead of this year’s state legislative elections in Virginia, the National Rifle Association this week donated $200,000 to a Republican political action committee. According to the Daily Press, “It’s the largest single donation the gun rights lobby has made in Virginia since the Virginia Public Access Project started tracking campaign finance in the 1990s.”
* In Wisconsin, the latest Marquette Law School poll found Joe Biden is the first choice among 28% of Badger State Democrats, followed by Bernie Sanders with 20%, and Elizabeth Warren with 17%. Pete Buttigieg, with 6% support, was the only other candidate above 5%.
* On a related note, the same poll found Biden leading Donald Trump in a hypothetical match-up in Wisconsin, 51% to 42%, although at this point four years ago, Hillary Clinton easily led Trump in the state, long before the Republican ended up winning.
* Speaking of Biden, the former vice president is defending his 2003 support for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, but he appears to be getting some of the relevant details of his record wrong.
* In Kansas, state Treasurer Jake LaTurner (R) ended his U.S. Senate campaign yesterday and announced he would instead take on freshman Rep. Steve Watkins (R) in a primary. In recent weeks, there have been rumors about a Watkins-related controversy and a possible resignation, though nothing from the apparent whisper-campaign has been substantiated.
* Climate activists didn’t get the issue-specific debate they’d hoped for, but CNN did host a multi-hour forum yesterday with several leading Democratic presidential candidates, focused exclusively on the climate crisis and plans to combat it.
* And presidential hopeful Marianne Williamson caused a bit of a stir yesterday with a tweet that suggested the “power of the mind” played a role in having Hurricane Dorian “turn away from land.” The self-help author deleted the tweet in the face online criticisms.