Monday's Campaign Round-Up, 5.18.20

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.

* In a bit of a surprise, Rep. Justin Amash has scrapped his Libertarian presidential campaign, citing the challenges posed by mounting a third-party bid during a pandemic. It's unclear why the Michigan congressman didn't recognize these challenges when he kicked off his national bid a few weeks ago.

* Remember when former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg promised to invest heavily in the Democrats' 2020 ticket, even if he's not on it? We haven't heard much along these lines lately, but CNBC reported on Friday that the former mayor "is plotting a massive spending blitz to back Joe Biden's quest for the White House. "

* In Iowa, where Rep. Steve King is facing a tough Republican primary challenge, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has not endorsed the incumbent's candidacy. What's more, after King suggested he'd get his committee assignments back if re-elected, McCarthy suggested otherwise.

* In North Carolina, the latest statewide poll from East Carolina University found Donald Trump narrowly leading Joe Biden in the state (46% to 43%), incumbent Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper with a sizable lead over Republican Dan Forest (51% to 36%), and incumbent Republican Sen. Thom Tillis with the smallest of leads over Democrat Cal Cunningham (41% to 40%).

* Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon held a briefing for reporters late last week and said that Arizona, Georgia, and Texas are among the states the Democratic campaign is targeting as "expansion states."

* Speaking of Texas, a state appeals court recently issued a ruling making it easier for Lone Star State voters to cast absentee ballots during the coronavirus pandemic. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) appealed the decision and the state Supreme Court late Friday put a temporarily hold on the new policy.

* PBS spoke with 74 former Biden staffers, 62 of whom are women, as part of an evaluation of Tara Reade's allegation of sexual assault. Politico also spoke to many of Reade's former colleagues on Capitol Hill. Neither report helped bolster the accuser's claims.