Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* With Rep. Ryan Costello (R-Pa.) announcing his retirement after the filing deadline in Pennsylvania, the question now is whether the congressman’s name will remain on the primary ballot. Local Republicans hope so: it leaves open the door to them picking the party’s nominee.
* On a related note, the Pennsylvania Republican conceded to his local paper that Donald Trump’s antics influenced his decision. “Whether it’s Stormy Daniels, or passing an omnibus spending bill that the president threatens to veto after promising to sign, it’s very difficult to move forward in a constructive way today,” Costello said.
* The American Action Network, which supports House Republicans, is investing another $1 million in advertising intended to make the GOP’s regressive tax law more popular. The ads will soon hit the airwaves in 26 congressional districts.
* Speaking of conservative advertising, while House Republicans try to connect every House Democratic candidate to Nancy Pelosi, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is moving forward with a similar effort involving Hillary Clinton.
* Interesting tidbit from the CNN poll: among voters who are “very enthusiastic” or “extremely enthusiastic” about voting in this year’s midterm elections, Trump’s approval rating is 38% – several points lower than the latest national average.
* For those who like to keep an eye on state legislative special elections, there’s a state House race in Alabama today.
* And Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) told a Nevada news program the other day that the “rumor mill” suggests House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will retire and quit Congress within the next 30 to 60 days. Ryan’s office soon after shot down the chatter, insisting the Speaker is “not resigning.”