Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) yesterday became the latest congressional Republican to announce his retirement, and Democrats see his competitive district as a key pick-up opportunity.
* In North Dakota yesterday, Donald Trump traveled on Air Force One with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), thanked her from his stage, shook her hand, and told the audience she’s a “good woman.” With Heitkamp running for re-election in a red state next year, voters should expect to see this moment again.
* In Alabama’s Senate Republican primary runoff, a new Southeast Research poll found former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore leading appointed Sen. Luther Strange, 52% to 36%. The primary runoff is Sept. 26, which is less than three weeks away.
* On a related note, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, formally announced yesterday he’s supporting Moore’s candidacy.
* The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Trump with a 40% approval rating, unchanged from June. The president’s favorability rating is even lower, dropping to just 36%. The same poll found Barack Obama is easily the nation’s most popular political figure.
* In Illinois, state Sen. Daniel Biss, a Democratic gubernatorial hopeful, raised a few eyebrows last week when he chose Chicago alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, a member of Democratic Socialists for America, as his running mate. Yesterday, however, the NBC affiliate in Chicago reported the two parted ways over Ramirez-Rosa’s support for the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” movement, which support boycotts of companies that do business with Israel.
* And in Pennsylvania, Rep. Charlie Dent (R), one of the more moderate congressional Republicans, is now facing a primary challenge from state Rep. Justin Simmons (R), who attacked the incumbent as a “political fraud” who doesn’t support Trump enough. Dent responded by releasing text messages Simmons sent him “asking for campaign donations during his 2016 primary campaign and asking [Dent] last year if the GOP can dump Donald Trump in the 2016 election.”