Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* After coming up short in one of the closest congressional races in American history, Iowa's Rita Hart (D) announced yesterday that she's abandoning her effort to challenge the results of the race. The House Administration Committee has been considering whether Hart did, in fact, lose to Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R) by six votes, or whether 22 uncounted votes deserved to be considered.
* In New Mexico yesterday, Democrats chose state Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D) to run in the upcoming congressional special election, filling the vacancy created by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland's departure from the U.S. House. Stansbury will face state Sen. Mark Moores (R) in the June 1 election.
* In Texas, the Republican-led state Senate this morning approved sweeping new voting restrictions. The Texas Tribune reported that the package "would limit extended early voting hours, prohibit drive-thru voting and make it illegal for local election officials to proactively send applications to vote by mail to voters, even if they qualify." The bill now heads to the GOP-led state House.
* The latest national poll from the Associated Press found President Joe Biden with a 61% approval rating, which is a level of support his predecessor never came close to reaching. Biden's strongest issue is currently his handling of the pandemic: 73% approve of his efforts to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. That includes, incidentally, roughly half of Republican voters.
* As far as the National Republican Senatorial Committee is concerned, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) is, in fact, very likely to seek re-election again next year. Grassley, who'll be 89 years old on Election Day 2022, has held elected office in Iowa continuously since the Eisenhower administration.
* On a related note, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), the NRSC chairman, is in Iowa, and the Miami Herald reported yesterday that the Republican senator "is laying the groundwork for a potential 2024 presidential run."
* And in Illinois, where Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) is up for re-election next year, businessman Gary Rabine joined the Republican field of candidates to run against him. Rabine, a prominent Donald Trump supporter, was asked whether he believes the former president's lies about the 2020 election. "I'm not smart enough to understand what was the end result, whether it was stolen or not, and I would never say that," the GOP candidate replied.