Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* With 11 days remaining before Virginia's gubernatorial race, a new Wason Center poll shows Ralph Northam (D) with a modest lead over Ed Gillespie (R), 50% to 43%.
* On a related note, the Washington Post's editorial board today took aim at Gillespie's racially inflammatory message, describing the Republican candidate's tactics as "a poisonous strategy for the nation and for Virginia."
* For reasons that don't make a lot of sense, Donald Trump thought it'd be a good idea to draw more attention to Tom Steyer's efforts to cultivate support for the president's impeachment. Trump called Steyer "totally unhinged," which is probably a label Steyer would use to describe Trump.
* Though Democrats are optimistic about the New Jersey elections in two weeks, the Democratic National Committee announced overnight a new "six-figure investment" in the Garden State. The party said the money is intended to help Dems "running up and down the ticket in New Jersey with GOTV organizing efforts, digital, data, and tech infrastructure."
* Speaking of Democrats, the party extended its success in state legislative special elections this week, winning another state House race in New Hampshire. The seat was previously held by a different Dem, so the results don't change the makeup of the chamber.
* Despite some rumors to the contrary, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) said yesterday he isn't going to run for retiring Sen. Jeff Flake's (R-Ariz.) Senate seat.
* Texas House Speaker Joe Straus (R), a relative moderate for the GOP in the Lone Star State, announced this week he's retiring next year, and the Texas Tribune said his decision "has the potential to upend the political balance of power in the state."
* And in New York, former Rep. Michael Grimm (R) apparently sees an alliance with Donald Trump as a key to his comeback plans. In a new interview, Grimm said how impressed he was with Trump's "massive hands" when the two first met.