Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Rep. Dan Benishek (R) has decided not to run for re-election in his Michigan district, honoring a three-term limit he set for himself. Michigan’s 1st congressional district is fairly competitive, and Democrats are already looking at this as a key pick-up opportunity.
* The far-right Club for Growth today launched a “major television ad campaign” targeting Donald Trump in early nominating states. Here’s one of the ads, which calls Trump “liberal” and “just another politician.” A second spot highlights Trump’s support for a Supreme Court ruling on private-sector eminent domain.
* If you missed last night’s show, Bernie Sanders gave a fascinating speech yesterday at Liberty University, an evangelical school in Virginia created by the late televangelist Jerry Falwell.
* At an Iowa event yesterday, Hillary Clinton outlined her vision on combating sexual assaults on college campuses.
* Clinton also picked up an important union endorsement yesterday, receiving the support of the 340,000-member United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry.
* Democratic presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley unveiled his proposal yesterday to cut gun deaths in the United States in half over the next decade.
* Politico reports that Marco Rubio is “subtly leveraging” the fact that he used to be a Mormon to help cultivate Republican support in Nevada, which has a sizable LDS population. For many years, the Florida senator has identified himself as Roman Catholic.
* And with just two months remaining in Louisiana’s gubernatorial election, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) was asked again this week about his prostitution scandal. “I’ve spoken about my past and how my family has dealt with that,” he said last night. “If that’s not good enough for you, then that’s not good enough. But it’s good enough for [Vitter’s wife] Wendy.”