Monday's Campaign Round-Up, 9.17.18

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

* After Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) was indicted on federal criminal charges, he "suspended" his re-election bid and encouraged Republican officials to find someone else to run. The Buffalo News  reports today, however, that Collins will remain on the ballot after all.

* During an event on MSNBC late last week, Republican Senate candidate Chris McDaniel said African-American voters in Mississippians should stop "begging for federal government scraps." The right-wing candidate was promptly booed by the live audience at Ole Miss.

* Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) re-election campaign is once again under fire for sending fundraising letters to Texans that appear to be officials summons notices. If this sounds at all familiar, Cruz and his team have been criticized for these deceptive tactics before.

* In Ohio, L Brands CEO Leslie H. Wexner, the wealthiest Republican supporter in the state, announced late last week that he's given up on the Republican Party, denouncing the GOP's "nonsense" during an appearance in Columbus. Wexner now identifies as an independent.

* Speaking of Ohio, the latest Politico/AARP poll found incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) with a healthy lead over Rep. Jim Renacci (R), 47% to 31%. Results like these suggest Republicans are likely to give up on the race in Ohio, if they haven't already.

* In Minnesota, a new Star Tribune/MPR News Minnesota Poll, shows Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) with a commanding lead over Jim Newberger (R), 60% to 30%.

* The same poll found appointed Sen. Tina Smith (D) with a much more modest lead over state Sen. Karin Housley (R), 44% to 37%, though neither candidate appears to be especially well known statewide.

* And in South Carolina, this year's gubernatorial race has effectively been put on hold, in part because of state officials' focus on responding to Hurricane Florence, and in part because state Rep. James Smith, the Democratic nominee, is a National Guard major who was among the thousands of Guard troops activated to help respond to the storm.