Monday's Campaign Round-Up, 5.15.17

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.* North Carolina's odious voter-ID law is no more. A lower-court ruling struck down the Republican measure as discriminatory, and the U.S. Supreme Court let that decision stand by announcing this morning it would not hear an appeal. Though the justices didn't consider the case on the merits, Chief Justice John Roberts published a brief statement.* In the new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Donald Trump's approval rating is down to just 39% -- a point Barack Obama never reached in his two terms as president.* On a related note, the same poll showed Trump's firing of James Comey and the Republican health care plan as both unpopular, though in terms of short-term electoral considerations, the latter appears to be a greater danger to the GOP than the former.* In a recorded video message to members of the Republican National Committee, Trump told his ostensible allies, in reference to the 2018 midterms, "We can pick up a lot of seats, especially if it all keeps going like it is now." That's right; the president believes the political winds are at his back.* In Alabama, the Republican field for the U.S. Senate election continues to grow: Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) announced this morning that he's running, too.* With Montana's congressional special election quickly approaching, Mike Pence and Donald Trump Jr. spend much of the weekend making stops throughout the state in support of Republican Greg Gianforte. The election is May 25.* Speaking of congressional special elections, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will be in Georgia today to hold a rally in support of Republican Karen Handel. That election isn't until June 20.* And in Florida, Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) is facing some heat after using official resources to push for Sen. Bill Nelson's (D-Fla.) defeat next year.