Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* With a month remaining in Pennsylvania's congressional special election, a new Monmouth University poll shows Rick Saccone (R) leading Conor Lamb (D), 49% to 46%. Given the partisan leanings of the district, we'd generally expect to see the Republican with a much larger advantage.
* As if Missouri's U.S. Senate race weren't already complicated enough, Kansas City lawyer Craig O'Dear launched an independent bid today, making this a three-way contest.
* With Rep. Trey Gowdy (R) retiring, Mark Burns, a pro-Trump televangelist, has decided to run for the South Carolina congressional seat.
* Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has signed on as the state engagement chair of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, emphasizing this year's elections as part of the 2020 redistricting effort. It's also worth noting that McAuliffe is a possible 2020 presidential candidate.
* Barack Obama left office on a relatively high note, at least as far as polling is concerned, and his standing has only improved since. Gallup reported this week that Obama's "legacy appears to be on the right track, as 63% of Americans in hindsight say they approve of the way he handled his job."
* With Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) under a federal investigation, his Republican colleagues are increasingly concerned about his re-election prospects.
* And in Arizona, far-right Senate hopeful Kelli Ward (R) has touted an endorsement from the Arizona Monitor. Politico reports, "Despite its reputable sounding name, the Arizona Monitor is not a real news site."