Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* The Cook Political Report noted today that in this year’s congressional special elections in Republican districts, Democrats have “outperformed the partisan lean of their districts by an average of eight points.” The 2018 midterms are still far off, but if Dems can keep this up, they’ll be well positioned to compete for the House majority.
* Donald Trump boasted last night that the special-election season is over and his allies went “5 and 0.” His arithmetic is wrong: one of the five races was in California’s 34th district, and a progressive Democrat won easily.
* The president is reportedly “returning to campaign mode,” which includes headlining an “old-fashioned political rally” in Iowa today.
* There’s been an enormous amount of buzz this week about a new campaign kick-off video from Randy Bryce, a Wisconsin ironworker, who’s running as a Democrat against House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) next year. The chatter is understandable; the clip is well done.
* A new national poll from the Pew Research Center shows Trump’s approval rating at 39%, which is roughly where it was in April.
* And in New Jersey, Andy Kim launched a Democratic congressional campaign in New Jersey this week, taking on the savior of the far-right Republican health care plan, Rep. Tom MacArthur (R). Kim, a Rhodes Scholar, served as “the National Security Council’s director for Iraq during President Barack Obama’s administration. In Afghanistan Kim worked as a diplomat and strategic adviser to Gen. David Petraeus and Gen. John Allen in Afghanistan.”