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Thursday's Campaign Round-Up, 12.19.19

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

* Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a co-founder of the far-right House Freedom Caucus and one of Donald Trump's most steadfast supporters, announced this morning that he won't run for re-election next year. He's also reportedly willing to resign mid-year for a post on Team Trump.

* On a related note, there are now 25 House Republicans giving up their seats next year -- 21 are leaving electoral politics, while four are seeking higher office -- which is exactly the same number of retirements we saw from House Republicans at this point in the 2018 election cycle.

* A new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found Joe Biden leading his party's presidential field with 28% support, followed by Bernie Sanders at 21% and Elizabeth Warren at 18%. Pete Buttigieg is fourth with 9%, while Amy Klobuchar is fifth with 5%.

* The same poll found Democrats leading Republicans on the general congressional ballot by seven points, 49% to 42%. That's the same advantage Democrats enjoyed two months ago, and the same advantage Dems had the month before the 2018 midterms when they won back the House majority.

* Speaking of survey data, a new national poll from CNN shows Biden leading Sanders, 26% to 20%, followed by Warren at 16%, and Buttigieg at 8%. Michael Bloomberg was fifth in the poll with 5%.

* Incidentally, in case there weren't enough going on in the political world right now, the latest Democratic presidential primary debate is tonight.

* As New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew gets ready to join the Republican Party -- by some accounts, as early as today -- his staffers continue to resign in large numbers.

* Adriel Hampton, a progressive activist in California, is running deliberately false ads on Facebook, claiming that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) supports Trump's impeachment. The ads are intended to serve as a test of the social-media giant's tolerance for transparently deceitful advertisements, though Facebook said this week that it won't take down Hampton's dishonest message.

* And in Las Vegas this week, the Sanders campaign is hosting a Spanish-language town hall event in support of the Vermont senator's candidacy. Sanders does not speak Spanish, but his event will be led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).