Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Four days ago, at a campaign rally in Pittsburgh, Donald Trump said, in reference to Republican congressional candidate Rick Saccone, “This guy should win easily, and he is going to win easy.” Evidently, that was wrong.
* The news wasn’t all bad for Republicans yesterday. A GOP candidate in Tennessee won a state Senate special election in a landslide, even outperforming Donald Trump, who carried this same district by 44 points in 2016.
* It’s been a while since we saw data out of New Jersey, so it was of great interest to see the latest Quinnipiac poll yesterday, which showed Sen. Bob Menendez (D) leading Bob Hugin (R) by 17 points, 49% to 32%.
* Donald Trump’s re-election campaign continues to add staffers, despite the fact that the race is still years away. This week, former national campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson signed onto the 2020 effort as a senior adviser.
* The Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity is reportedly planning to “step up its advertising” in Indiana and Missouri, spending nearly $4 million in the hopes of defeating Sens. Claire McCaskill and Joe Donnelly.
* While the president draws attention to his unpopularity for reasons that aren’t altogether clear, the latest CBS News poll found Trump with a 38% approval rating. (He insisted over the weekend he’s “around 50%.”)
* Former Attorney General Eric Holder, helping lead the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, wasn’t kidding about focusing on down-ballot races: he’ll be in Wisconsin this week, supporting Rebecca Dallet in a state Supreme Court race. The election is April 3.
* And despite the shooting that nearly claimed his life last summer, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) is hitting the campaign trail in support of House Republican candidates in the South and Midwest.