Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* In Virginia, which is supposed to be a battleground state, a new Washington Post poll shows Hillary Clinton with a pretty healthy lead over Donald Trump among likely voters, 51% to 43%.
* The latest NBC News/SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll shows Clinton with a nine-point advantage over Trump nationally, 50% to 41%. At least for now, the Democrat’s post-convention bounce hasn’t faded.
* The presidential election, by the way, is 12 weeks from today.
* President Obama headlined a Massachusetts fundraiser yesterday, and urged Democrats not to be complacent in the face of positive polls. “If we are not running scared until the day after the election, we are going to be making a grave mistake,” the president said.
* Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), the only sitting senator in New England who supports the Republicans’ presidential nominee, wants voters to perceive a “big distinction” between endorsing Trump and her stating publicly that she intends to vote for Trump.
* In North Carolina, the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll found Deborah Ross (D) leading incumbent Sen. Richard Burr (R) in their match-up, 46% to 44%, while Roy Cooper (D) leads incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory (R) by an even wider margin, 51% to 44%.
* In Colorado, the same poll showed Sen. Michael Bennet (D) with a comfortable, double-digit lead over challenger Darryl Glenn (R), 53% to 38%.
* The news was better for Republicans in Florida, where the poll found Sen. Marco Rubio (R) with a growing lead over Rep. Patrick Murphy (D), 49% to 43%.
* Will Georgia become a 2016 battleground? It’s worth noting that the Clinton campaign is staffing up in the Peach State, which probably isn’t what Republicans wanted to see.
* Bernie Sanders’ former campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, participated in a Democratic National Committee conference call last night as the “featured guest.” It was, the Washington Post noted, a move intended to “bolster party unity.”
* George Shultz, Reagan’s secretary of state, was asked yesterday about the prospect of a Trump presidency. “God help us,” he replied.
* And Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson argued yesterday that campaign reporters “literally beat Trump supporters into submission.” For the record, I know a fair number of media professionals on the campaign trail, and I’m reasonably certain none of them have become violent with either candidate’s voters.