Wednesday’s Campaign Round-Up, 10.31.18

Updated

Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.

* Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race looks like one of only a handful of Democratic pick-up opportunities, and right now, it also looks like an uphill climb for the party: the new NBC News/Marist poll found Marsha Blackburn (R) leading Phil Bredesen (D), 51% to 46% among likely voters. That said, Bredesen has a higher personal favorability rating than his far-right rival.

* Barack Obama will campaign for Stacey Abrams’ (D) gubernatorial candidacy in Atlanta on Friday night, following a campaign appearance in Florida earlier in the day. 

* In related news, Oprah Winfrey doesn’t do a lot of political campaigning, but she’ll be in Georgia this week supporting Abrams.

* We also learned this morning that Obama will campaign in Indiana on Sunday in support of Sen. Joe Donnelly (D). That’s a bit of a surprise: Donnelly, in a tough red-state contest, has been reluctant to associate too closely with national Democrats. That said, Obama did win Indiana in 2008.

* In Kansas’ gubernatorial race, Republican Tim Owens, who’s served as Greg Orman’s (I) campaign treasurer, resigned yesterday and endorsed Democrat Laura Kelly. “This decision was very difficult for me, but I have to put Kansas first,” Owens said, adding, “Electing Kris Kobach governor is one of the worst things that could happen to our state.” Despite having little chance of success, Orman nevertheless refuses to drop out, even if it puts Kobach in office.

* Asked yesterday whether he agrees with Donald Trump’s idea of ending birthright citizenship through an executive order, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), a U.S. Senate candidate this year, walked away rather than answer the question.

* In New Jersey, where Republicans hope to flip Sen. Bob Menendez’s (D) seat, Bob Hugin (R) just invested another $3.5 million from his personal bank account into his campaign coffers. Hugin has now spent $36 million of his own money on his candidacy.

* In Virginia, former longtime Republican Sen. John Warner has not only endorsed Sen. Tim Kaine’s (D) re-election; he’s now also thrown his support behind Leslie Cockburn (D) in the commonwealth’s 5th congressional district.

* In South Carolina’s 5th congressional district, Democrats gave up on Archie Parnell’s (D) candidacy after learning of domestic violence in his past, but this week, Rep. Jim Clyburn (D) is re-embracing the candidate and will campaign for him the day before Election Day.

* And for those keeping score, FiveThirtyEight now gives Democrats a 14.2% chance of winning a Senate majority – a new low for this cycle. FiveThirtyEight also gives Democrats an 85.3% chance of winning a House majority – which is just about a new high for this cycle.