Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* With just days remaining before West Virginia’s filing deadline, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) told his Democratic colleagues that he will, in fact, run for re-election. He also reportedly told them, however, that “this place sucks,” and he wants to see significant changes.
* On a related note, former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship formally kicked off his Republican Senate campaign in West Virginia the other day. Less than a year ago, Blankenship was released from prison, following a conviction for conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards.
* In Pennsylvania yesterday, Dems won another state legislative special election, with Austin Davis (D) defeating his Republican opponent fairly easily. The seat was previously held by a Democrat and the results don’t affect the makeup of Pennsylvania’s legislature.
* A month after a Democrat won a Senate special election in Alabama, Republican lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to change state law to end special elections to fill Senate vacancies.
* Vice President Mike Pence is reportedly preparing to launch a “campaign blitz” this week. According to the Washington Times, there are roughly “30 campaign events already on his schedule” in the near future.
* Assuming former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) runs for the Senate in Utah this year, a new Salt Lake Tribune/Hinckely Institute poll shows him with a massive lead over Jenny Wilson (D), 64% to 19%.
* And Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), running for re-election in Vermont this year, hosted a “town hall on Medicare for All” in the congressional auditorium last night. According to the Washington Post, more than 1 million people watched the event online.