Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* With six days remaining before Virginia’s gubernatorial race, the final Washington Post poll of the race shows Ralph Northam (D) with a five-point lead over Ed Gillespie (R), 49% to 44%. About a month ago, the same poll showed Northam ahead by 13 points, so this suggests the race has tightened considerably as the candidates approach the finish line.
* In a bit of a surprise, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, announced he’ll retire at the end of this term. Hensarling represents one of Texas’s reddest districts, which seems unlikely to change anytime soon.
* In response to a report that Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) may be eyeing an independent run in 2018, the Arizona Republican said on Twitter this week, “Not gonna happen.”
* Some on the far-right are looking for a conservative challenger to Sen. Angus King (I) in Maine next year, and Ann LePage, Gov. Paul LePage’s (R) wife, conceded the other day she was approached by Breitbart News’ Steve Bannon about the race. Ann LePage said she “didn’t take it very serious,” though local reports didn’t indicate whether she’s ruled out the possibility.
* Former Rep. Tom Tancredo, who earned a national reputation as a hardline Republican on immigration, announced this week that he’s running for governor in Colorado again. The far-right lawmaker ran failed statewide bids in 2010 and 2014.
* Republican megadonor Robert Mercer is reportedly targeting Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) in advance of her 2018 re-election bid in Massachusetts next year. Though Warren isn’t considered vulnerable, the effort is apparently intended to help weaken her in advance of the 2020 presidential election.
* Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson has launched a few presidential campaigns in recent years, including serving as the Libertarian Party’s nominee in 2012 and 2016, but he confirmed the other day that he won’t seek public office again.
* And New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) told NBC’s “Today” show late last week that he’s “not so sure” Donald Trump will run again in 2020. Something to file away for future reference.