Tuesday’s Campaign Round-Up, 5.8.18

Updated

Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.

* It’s Election Day in four states: Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina, and West Virginia. Pay particular attention the two gubernatorial primaries in Ohio, the Republican Senate primary in Indiana, and West Virginia’s Republican Senate primary.

* On a related note, if Don Blankenship prevails in the West Virginia race, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) has said he intends to endorse and donate to the Democratic incumbent, Sen. Joe Manchin.

* There are also some down-ballot races of note today, including businessman Greg Pence, Vice President Mike Pence’s brother, running in a congressional primary, making his first bid for elected office. Greg Pence’s business record has drawn some scrutiny in recent months, and it’s not without failures.

* In Florida’s gubernatorial primary, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) wasn’t considered a top contender when he launched his candidacy in January, but after receiving support from Donald Trump, DeSantis became a frequent Fox News guest, pushing him into contention.

* Following her closer-than-expected victory in a special election last month, Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) was sworn in as Congress’ newest member yesterday. The current number of House vacancies has now shrunk from six to five.

* An interesting observation from McClatchy: there are no major Democratic Senate primaries anywhere in the country in 2018. Given how extremely difficult this year’s map is for Senate Dems, this is exactly what party leaders hoped for.

* Five months after his failed U.S. Senate bid, disgraced former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) is now weighing a possible gubernatorial campaign this year. It wouldn’t be his first such attempt: Moore ran for governor in 2006 and 2010, and in both instances, he lost in GOP primaries.

* And in an interesting tactical move, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), the frontrunner in this year’s gubernatorial race, is running attack ads targeting Republican rival John Cox, apparently hoping to elevate him so that he makes the November ballot. The strategy seems to be based on the idea that Newsom would find it easier to defeat a Republican in the general election than another Democrat.