Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* In a poll that made national Democrats reach for the antacids, a Stockton poll released yesterday found incumbent Sen. Bob Menendez (D) ahead in New Jersey by just two points over Bob Hugin (R), 45% to 43%.
* The news was arguably worse for Dems in North Dakota, where an NBC affiliate partnered with Strategic Research Associates on a poll that found Rep. Kevin Cramer (R) well ahead of Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D), 51% to 41%. I’d note for context that Heitkamp faced similar deficits six years ago – before she won – but she’s clearly this year’s most vulnerable Senate Democratic incumbent.
* Speaking of pick-up opportunities, this year’s most vulnerable Senate Republican incumbent is Nevada’s Dean Heller, who trails Jacky Rosen (D) in a new CNN poll, 43% to 47%.
* On a related note, CNN polled voters in Missouri and found incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) with a narrow lead over Josh Hawley (R), 47% to 44%.
* Barack Obama yesterday announced another round of endorsements, throwing his support behind 260 Democratic candidates nationwide. It’s the former president’s second round of endorsements this election cycle.
* In Kansas’ closely watched gubernatorial race, an Emerson University poll released yesterday found Kris Kobach (R) leading Laura Kelly (D) by just one point, 38% to 37%. Independent Greg Orman, who’s splitting the mainstream vote, is far behind at 9%.
* Minnesota Democrats conducted an investigation into a domestic abuse claim against Rep. Keith Ellison, who’s running for state attorney general this year. Yesterday, party officials said the allegation against the sitting congressman could not be substantiated.
* In California, Gil Cisneros’ (D) congressional campaign has been dogged by a sexual-harassment claim, but yesterday, the candidate’s accuser retracted her accusation and said there’d been a misunderstanding.