Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Florida will be home to one of the year’s most important ballot initiatives: the state’s voters will be asked to decide whether to change Florida law and extend voting rights to the state’s 1.5 million convicted felons. The Florida secretary of state’s office confirmed this morning that the measure received the necessary number of signatures to qualify for this year’s ballot.
* As Rachel noted on the show last night, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has struck down the state’s congressional map, gerrymandered to heavily favor Republicans. The ruling, which is unlikely to go federal court on appeal, requires state officials to redraw the lines quickly in preparation for this year’s elections.
* Asked yesterday about Donald Trump’s new campaign ad, in which he accuses Democrats of being “complicit” in murders, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said those “aren’t being done by the White House.” (Since the White House doesn’t do any campaign advertising, the answer seemed odd.)
* As Republicans feel increasingly anxious about the congressional special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th district, the House Republican leadership’s super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, is preparing to launch a $1.5 million ad campaign in support of Rick Saccone.
* Gallup reported yesterday that Donald Trump averaged a 38.4% approval rating in his first year, easily the worst of any first-year president since the dawn of modern polling.
* On a related note, the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll found the president ending his first year in office with a 36% approval rating, nearly 10 points lower than any of his modern predecessors at this point in their presidencies.
* And in Miami, where Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) is retiring, a crowded Democratic field has emerged to replace her. Politico reports that former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala, who served as president of the University of Miami for many years, “might be eyeing” the race.