Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* For the third time in seven days, a House Republican from a competitive district announced his retirement. Yesterday, it was Rep. Dave Trott (R) of Michigan who said he’s stepping down after just two terms.
* Politico reports that Steve Bannon is leading an effort to run primary challenges against some Republican senators next year, and is coordinating the initiative with conservative mega-donor Robert Mercer, “who is prepared to pour millions of dollars into attacks on GOP incumbents.”
* On a related note, Senate Republicans have taken note of Bannon’s plans and they’re not at all pleased.
* In Arizona’s closely watched U.S. Senate race, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) hasn’t officially launched a statewide campaign, but The Hill reports that if she does, Sinema will have Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) support. The move is likely intended to discourage potential primary rivals.
* The Republicans’ Senate primary runoff is two weeks from today, and NBC News’ First Read makes the case that former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is likely to prevail over appointed Sen. Luther Strange.
* The Washington Post reported yesterday on some supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) who are pushing the senator to create a far-left rival to the Democratic Party. Sanders has always rejected such talk, saying it would help Republicans dominate.
* And following reports that Mitt Romney is preparing a possible Senate campaign in Utah, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R) gave a vague answer yesterday about his 2018 plans. “Right now, I intend to run again,” the senator said. “But who knows?”