Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) announced this morning that he’s appointing Rep. Martha McSally (R) to fill the Senate seat once held by Sen. John McCain (R). McSally will have to run to keep that seat in two years, and given that fact that the Republican congresswoman just lost a Senate race last month, it’s a safe bet Democrats will target this race.
* In the first big retirement announcement of the 2020 election cycle, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) announced he won’t seek a fourth term in two years. As the 2018 results in the Volunteer State helped prove, even the most electable Democrats find it awfully tough to compete in Tennessee, but it’ll be interesting to see whether Alexander is the first of many retirements.
* On a related note, Donald Trump reportedly reached out to Alexander and urged him not to retire. Evidently, the senator was unmoved.
* Less than a week after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed a new measure limiting early voting in his state, progressive groups have already filed suit in federal court, asking a judge to reject the new policy.
* Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., announced yesterday that he won’t seek a third term. The Democratic Hoosier – who’s also a veteran of the war in Iraq and a Rhodes Scholar – has been rumored to be interested in a possible 2020 presidential campaign, and Buttigieg did little to knock down that chatter yesterday.
* As 2018 draws to a close, Gallup’s new report shows Donald Trump’s approval rating dropping to 38%, as his disapproval rating inched higher to 57%.
* And while Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has not yet visited Iowa, the newly re-elected senator has reportedly begun “personally reaching out” to Iowa Democrats. I have a hunch we all know why.