Thursday's Campaign Round-Up, 10.5.17

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

* In the wake of Rep. Tim Murphy's (R-Pa.) sex scandal, the conservative congressman has decided not to seek re-election in 2018. His district, in Pennsylvania's Southwest corner, is generally seen as a Republican stronghold. [Update: A few hours after I published this, Murphy decided to resign.]

* The Des Moines Register reported this week that Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) pays his son and daughter-in-law as full-time, year-round campaign staffers, and has done so for more than a decade. The article described the arrangement as "unusual," though probably legal.

* In Virginia's gubernatorial race, a new Washington Post-Schar School poll found Ralph Northam (D) with a double-digit lead over Ed Gillespie (R), 53% to 40%, though few in either party believe the Democrat's advantage is this large.

* In this year's other gubernatorial race, the latest Monmouth University poll found Phil Murphy (D) leading Kim Guadagno (R), 51% to 37%, in New Jersey.

* Alabama's Roy Moore (R) was in D.C. yesterday, and met with Steve Bannon and members of his state's U.S. House delegation. The Republican Senate nominee did not, however, meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) or fellow Alabaman Sen. Richard Shelby (R).

* Speaking of Bannon, the former White House strategist has apparently also decided to support convicted felon Michael Grimm in the Republican's congressional comeback bid in New York.

* A new USA Today/Suffolk poll found the Republican Party's public standing "plummeting." The GOP has a 23% favorable rating and a 62% unfavorable rating. The Democratic Party, meanwhile, isn't winning any popularity contests, but it's in slightly better shape: 37% favorable, 48% unfavorable.

* And in Montana, Republican Troy Downing seems eager to take on incumbent Sen. Jon Tester (D) next year, but he's run into some awkward residency questions: the Bozeman Daily Chronicle  reports that Downing "is facing seven misdemeanor charges accusing him of trying to buy Montana resident hunting or fishing licenses as an out-of-state resident."