Today’s installment of campaign-related news items that won’t necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:
* Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is apparently launching his formal re-election bid today, even as he also gears up for a presidential race. For what it’s worth, this seems to be the senator’s second formal announcement: Paul declared in May 2013 that he would seek a second Senate term.
* In Arizona: “The 133 ballots at the heart of a federal lawsuit in Arizona’s Second Congressional District will not be counted. Judge Cindy Jorgenson of United States District Court denied a request Thursday by Representative Ron Barber and three voters to halt the official election results certification until those ballots were counted.”
* Sen. Rob Portman (R) of Ohio announced this morning that he will not run for president in 2016. In a written statement, the former Bush/Cheney official said, “I don’t think I can run for president and be an effective senator at the same time.” Some of his colleagues may find that a little insulting.
* Last night was the final debate of 2014, with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) facing off against Rep. Bill Cassidy (R) in Louisiana. The Democratic incumbent sought six debates, though Cassidy, who’s favored to win, agreed to only one. Their runoff election is this Saturday.
* In related news, early voting in the Louisiana runoff appears to favor Cassidy.
* Interesting allegations in a Maine state Senate race: “The Maine Democratic Party is calling for an investigation into ballot count discrepancies on Long Island that tipped the scales in favor of the Republican candidate in the Senate District 25 race in Portland’s northern suburbs. The party’s claim involves 21 ballots from the island town that appeared on Nov. 18, when the Secretary of State’s Office conducted a recount in the race between Republican Cathy Manchester of Gray and Democrat Cathy Breen of Falmouth.”
* Likely Republican presidential hopefuls such as Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio have all reached out to the tech industry for support, but the candidates’ positions on net neutrality and surveillance reform have created a rift between Silicon Valley and the Republican Party.
* And in 2016 polling, CNN shows Mitt Romney leading the Republican presidential field at this point, despite the fact that he does not appear to be running. My advice: pay very little attention to these polls until after candidates have launched their campaigns.