Today’s installment of campaign-related news items that won’t necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:
* The latest Bluegrass Poll in Kentucky shows Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R) lead over Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) growing to four points, 46% to 42%. A month ago, the same poll showed McConnell up by two. This latest poll, however, was commissioned before last week’s controversy about McConnell’s private remarks at a Koch brothers’ retreat and the resignation of the senator’s campaign manager.
* South Dakota’s U.S. Senate race is expected to be an easy pickup for Republicans, though Public Policy Polling’s latest data suggests the contest is becoming more complex. Mike Rounds (R) still leads Rick Weiland (D), but the margin, at least in this one poll, is six points: 39% to 33%. Former Sen. Larry Pressler, running as an independent, is a competitive third with 17%.
* According to the Associated Press, pre-Labor Day campaign spending in the 2014 cycle reached $1 billion. Far more will be spent over the next nine weeks.
* In Minnesota, the latest KSTP-TV poll offers good news for both of the Democrats running statewide races this year. Sen. Al Franken (D) leads his Republican challenger in the poll by nine points, while Gov. Mark Dayton (D) is also up by nine.
* In Louisiana’s U.S. Senate race, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee continues to go after Rep. Bill Cassidy (R) over his conservative approach to Medicare, including raising the eligibility age.
* The senator Cassidy hopes to defeat, incumbent Mary Landrieu, is facing residency questions because she’s registered to vote at her parents’ home address.
* In an unusual move, the Alaska Democratic Party’s gubernatorial ticket is voluntarily ending its campaign and the party will instead throw its support to Bill Walker’s independent gubernatorial bid. (Vermont Democrats rely on a similar tactic to back Bernie Sanders’ independent Senate campaigns.)
* And outgoing Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) is blaming his support for marriage equality for his landslide primary defeat. “Republicans crossed over en masse to vote in the Democratic primary, and then the religious factor came in,” Abercrombie said late last week. Given the 36-point margin, and the fact that his primary rival also backed marriage equality, I’m not sure this explanation is accurate.
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Tuesday's Campaign Round-Up, 9.2.14