Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* After blaming Senate Republicans for undermining his agenda, Donald Trump said yesterday he’ll try to dissuade Steve Bannon from launching primary campaigns against several Senate Republican incumbents.
* Trump also returned to the campaign trail again yesterday, appearing at a South Carolina golf resort to help raise money for Gov. Henry McMaster (R), the nation’s first statewide officeholder to endorse Trump during the 2016 GOP primaries.
* With only three weeks remaining in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, two new statewide polls show Ralph Northam (D) leading Ed Gillespie (R) by four and six points, respectively. And while that probably offers hope to Dems in the commonwealth, it’s worth remembering that four years ago, statewide polls overstated Democratic support by a few points.
* And speaking of this year’s gubernatorial races, a new Stockton University poll in New Jersey shows Phil Murphy (D) holding onto his significant advantage over Kim Guadagno (R), 51% to 33%.
* Add the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the list of Republican-friendly groups that aren’t backing Roy Moore’s U.S. Senate campaign in Alabama.
* The extremist candidate nevertheless continues to pick up support from GOP partisans, including new endorsements from Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), both of whom ostensibly represent the party’s more libertarian wing.
* In Tennessee’s open U.S. Senate race, Democrats would love to recruit a top-tier contender, and former Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) is considering it. In 2006, Bredesen won his re-election bid in the Volunteer State by a huge margin, but Tennessee has continued to move sharply to the right in the decade since.
* And in California, the legislature passed a measure intended to force presidential candidates to release their tax returns before they could appear on the ballot, but Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoed the bill, concluding it’s likely unconstitutional.