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 kicking off his Republican presidential campaign today. We’ll explore this in more detail in the next post, but for now, let’s note that his campaign is accepting Bitcoin campaign contributions.
* Welcoming Paul to the race is a dark-money group called the Foundation for a Secure and Prosperous America, led by a Swiftboat strategist Rick Reed, which is launching a $1 million advertising buy painting the Kentucky Republican as “dangerous.” The campaign, targeting Paul from the right, highlights the senator’s 2007 argument that treating Iran as a national security threat is “ridiculous.”
* The latest Monmouth University Poll shows Jeb Bush leading the Republicans’ 2016 field nationally with 13% support, followed closely by Scott Walker and Ted Cruz, with 11% each. Donald Trump is roughly in the middle of the pack, leading prominent candidates such as Rand Paul, Chris Christie, and Marco Rubio.
* Jeb Bush identified himself as “Hispanic” on his 2009 voter-registration forms. Responding to the controversy yesterday, the former governor said on Twitter, “My mistake! Don’t think I’ve fooled anyone!”
* Though Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had suggested he’d retire at the end of his term, the longtime incumbent said overnight that he will run for re-election in 2016, describing himself as “ready for a new fight.” McCain will be 80 on Election Day.
* Right-wing neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who’ll reportedly kick off his presidential campaign in early May, has raised $2.1 million from 36,000 donors through his exploratory committee.
* Speaking of fundraising, it matters that Hillary Clinton will have access to “Obama’s vaunted 2012 campaign list of roughly 12 million supporters, and a separate list of about four million people gathered over the last two years by the outside group Ready for Hillary.”
* Tom Steyer isn’t running for the Senate, but he’s remaining politically engaged: “NextGen Climate, the environmental super PAC founded by billionaire Tom Steyer, announced plans on Monday to punish Republican presidential candidates who reject the scientific consensus on climate change.”
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Tuesday's Campaign Round-Up, 4.7.15