Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* The latest NBC News/SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll shows Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump nationally by eight points, 50% to 42%. That’s a slight change from her nine-point advantage in the same poll a week ago.
* While addressing the issue of election “poll watchers” at an event in Ohio last night, Trump told supporters, “[W]hen I say ‘watch,’ you know what I’m talking about, right? You know what I’m talking about. I think you gotta go out and you gotta watch.”
* Republican mega-donor Robert Mercer is intervening in Arizona’s GOP Senate primary, hoping to boost Kelli Ward in her race against Sen. John McCain with a six-figure investment. The primary is a week from today, but early voting is already underway in the state.
* In Ohio, the latest Monmouth University poll shows Clinton leading Trump in the Buckeye State, 43% to 39%, with Libertarian Gary Johnson garnering 10%.
* The same poll found incumbent Sen. Rob Portman (R) in good shape against former Gov. Ted Strickland (D), 48% to 40%.
* It’s a bit of an outlier, but a new Roanoke College Poll shows Clinton with a 19-point lead over Trump in Virginia, 55% to 36%. With third-party candidates in the mix, the Democrat’s lead shrinks to a still-dominant 16 points.
* The Associated Press researched the social media accounts of Trump’s paid campaign staffers and found that they’ve written “Muslims are unfit to be U.S. citizens, ridiculed Mexican accents, called for Secretary of State John Kerry to be hanged and stated their readiness for a possible civil war.”
* James Glassman, a former State Department official in the Bush/Cheney administration, and the founder of the George W. Bush Institute, yesterday became the latest high-profile Republican to announce his support for Clinton’s presidential candidacy.
* The Clinton campaign is reportedly not scheduling local airtime in Virginia and Colorado in September and October, already confident of her chances of success in the states.
* Americans for Responsible Solutions, a group founded by Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly to help combat gun violence, yesterday endorsed two Republican senators in tight re-election races: Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey and Illinois’ Mark Kirk.
* And in West Virginia, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Justice has announced he will not support Clinton’s campaign because of opposition to coal power.