Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) removed all doubts yesterday about his 2016 plans. “Let me be clear: I do not want, nor will I accept the Republican nomination,” he said.
* Bernie Sanders picked up his very first endorsement from a sitting U.S. senator today, when Oregon’s Jeff Merkley (D) announced his support for his Vermont colleague.
* In New York, PPP shows Donald Trump leading the Republican presidential primary with 51% support, followed by John Kasich at 25%, and Ted Cruz at 20%. The latest Quinnipiac poll showed similar results.
* Among New York Democrats, PPP now shows Hillary Clinton leading Bernie Sanders, 51% to 40%, while the Quinnipiac shows her ahead, 53% to 40%.
* When it comes to New York advertising, Sanders is putting his massive fundraising advantage to good use, outspending Clinton in ad buys by a two-to-one margin.
* In Maryland, an NBC4/Marist poll shows Trump ahead in the Republican primary with 41%, followed by Cruz at 29% and Kasich at 24%. The state’s primary is April 26.
* Among Maryland Democrats, the same poll found Clinton leading Sanders, 58% to 36%.
* Speaking of Maryland, the NBC4/Marist poll found Rep. Chris Van Hollen leading Rep. Donna Edwards in their very competitive Democratic Senate primary, 44% to 38%.
* North Carolina’s gubernatorial race continues to look interesting, with a new WRAL poll showing state Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) leading incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory (R), 47% to 43%.
* Sounding a little nervous about his re-election odds, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) told a Republican audience in Iowa over the weekend, “This is not going to be such a race and so I’m calling on you, I’m asking you, I’m begging you, I’m imploring you — will you do all you can to help me win re-election?”