Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* The new national poll from Monmouth University shows Democrats with an eight-point edge over Republicans, 49% to 41%. That's roughly in line with Monmouth's results from two months ago, when Dems were up by nine points.
* With only a few days remaining ahead of West Virginia's Republican Senate primary, the new Don Blankenship ad attacking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is so odd, I'm starting to wonder if Blankenship's candidacy is some kind of art project.
* In New York's Democratic gubernatorial primary, the latest Quinnipiac poll shows incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo leading actor Cynthia Nixon by a sizable-but-not-overwhelming margin, 50% to 28%.
* In Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker (R), is seeking a third term, the governor has created a universal child tax credit in which he sends $100 checks to families throughout the state. For Democrats, it looks like election-year bribery, and as the Washington Post added, "[T]o independent economists, it's a mystifying piece of tax policy that has no clear long-term economic purpose and few, if any, recent comparable examples, given that tax breaks are traditionally incorporated for tax filing season -- not in the months before an election."
* Speaking of the Badger State, Kevin Nicholson, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Wisconsin, drew bipartisan criticism this week when he attacked the "cognitive thought process" of veterans who vote Democratic.
* In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) wants disgraced former Rep. Blake Farenthold (R) to pay for the special election to fill the congressional vacancy. Farenthold said this week that he doesn't intend to do that.
* With time running out in Ohio's Democratic gubernatorial primary, former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D) has faced criticisms over his controversial associations, which made it odd to see him do an interview this week on RT, the Kremlin-backed network.
* Speaking of the Buckeye State's gubernatorial race, a Republican donor -- who apparently sees Kucinich as the weaker candidate -- is launching attack ads targeting former CFPB chief Richard Cordray (D) as being too conservative.
* And in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has scheduled the special election to fill the vacancy left by former Rep. Patrick Meehan (R) for Nov. 6, the same day as the general election. This gets a little complicated, but since Pennsylvania's congressional district lines have been redrawn, the winner of the special election will serve for two months in a district that doesn't entirely exist.