Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* As Donald Trump prepared to accept his party's presidential nomination, Joe Biden launched an effective two-minute television ad last night, and Kamala Harris delivered a stinging Trump rebuke yesterday afternoon in what was billed as a "prebuttal" address.
* The Associated Press reported yesterday that an Iowa judge has sided with the Trump campaign, ordering a local county to invalidate 50,000 requests for absentee ballots. The Des Moines Register, meanwhile, also reported that Iowa's Republican secretary of state has concluded that "county auditors cannot set up drop boxes to accept absentee ballots this fall -- something several auditors say they did during this year's primary election."
* Right-wing operatives have been accused of launching deceptive robocalls in Michigan and Pennsylvania, falsely claiming that those who vote by mail will have their personal information "shared with police tracking down warrants and credit card companies collecting outstanding debt." This coincides with Twitter taking action against a spam operation "that pushed messages from fake accounts about Black people abandoning the Democratic Party."
* Joe Biden told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell yesterday that he fully intends to participate in the upcoming presidential debates, and he expects to be a "fact checker on the floor."
* The ratings-obsessed president probably will not be pleased to learn the ratings for the Republican National Convention, at least over the first three nights, lagged the viewership for the Democratic gathering last week.
* With time running out in the closely watched Democratic congressional primary between incumbent Rep. Richard Neal and Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse in Massachusetts, the state's Republican governor, Charlie Baker, weighed in with support for Neal. Primary Day is Tuesday, Sept. 1.
* In an unexpected move for a traditional Republican ally, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is moving forward with plans to support several House Democratic incumbents, and Politico reported that the move is "triggering a revolt within the right-leaning organization and drawing fierce pushback from the group's powerful GOP donors."
* And perhaps shown a poll on the U.S. Postal Service's broad national popularity, Donald Trump this week said his condemnation of mail-in voting is rooted in part in his distrust of local election officials. "It's not the post office.... It has nothing to do with the post office," the president claimed, adding, "The problem is when they dump all these ballots in front of a few people who are counting them, and they're going to count them wrong. The post office is not to blame."