Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* The number of women – from both parties – planning to run for governor this year is the largest on record.
* Reflecting on the Senate special election in Alabama, Donald Trump told the New York Times, “When I endorsed [Luther Strange], he was in fifth place. He went way up. Almost 20 points.” In reality, Strange saw no poll boost before losing in a primary, and he couldn’t have been in fifth place – because there were only three candidates.
* In the same half-hour interview, Trump talked about his Electoral College strategy in 2016 a total of seven times. That’s quite a bit for an election that happened 14 months ago.
* The White House plan for this year’s midterms is reportedly to dispatch Vice President Mike Pence to areas where Trump is too unpopular. He’s also, of course, raising money through his own political action committee – an unprecedented move for a sitting vice president who isn’t running for president.
* Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) believes there will be “an enormous shock” in the fall when Republicans en masse are victorious at the ballot box. File this away for future mockery.
* An interesting catch from the Wall Street Journal: “At least a dozen former aides and policy staff who worked for President Barack Obama have entered the midterm races, running for office for the first time.”
* And in New York, Republican businessman Harry Wilson announced over the holiday weekend that he will not run for governor in 2018. That leaves the state GOP without a top-tier contender to take on incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) as he seeks a third term.