Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* In Mississippi’s U.S. Senate runoff, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) ended up defeating Mike Espy (D), 53% to 46%. The seven-point margin means this is another key contest in which Democrats over-performed relative to recent cycles.
* House Democrats will meet today for a closed-door caucus meeting at which members will nominate a leadership team. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is expected to fare well, with the more significant challenge slated for Jan. 3, when the new Congress officially elects a new House Speaker.
* The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reason to be pleased with this year’s election results, but they came at a cost: the DCCC is now facing $18 million in debt. Their Republican counterparts, meanwhile, have a $12 million debt.
* The Washington Post reports that appointed Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) isn’t expected to remain on Capitol Hill much longer, though there’s some debate in Republican circles over who should replace him. GOP leaders reportedly prefer former Rep. Martha McSally (R), who lost her Senate bid earlier this month, though Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) isn’t so sure.
* Though I’m not sure I’d go this far, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told Hugh Hewitt yesterday, “Texas is no longer, I believe, a reliably red state. We are on the precipice of turning purple.” Cornyn is up for re-election in two years.
* And for those keeping track, as of this morning, the Democratic lead in the U.S. House popular vote is up to 8.2%, and it may yet inch higher. For comparison purposes, note that in 2010 – which was widely seen as a GOP “wave” cycle – Republicans won the U.S. House popular vote by 6.6%. In 1994, which was seen as a Republican “revolution,” the GOP won the U.S. House popular vote by 7.1%.