Thursday's Campaign Round-Up, 3.23.17

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.* The National Republican Congressional Committee sent out a fundraising appeal this morning with a subject line that read, "Confirmed: Obama spied on Trump." That's demonstrably untrue, but other Republican entities have launched similar fundraising efforts off of House Intelligence Committee Chairman David Nunes' (R-Calif.) bizarre antics yesterday.* Though the state of the Republican health care plan is unclear, the Koch brothers' network is prepared to offer financial support to GOP lawmakers who buck their party leadership and kill the existing Republican legislation.* In Wisconsin, which Trump narrowly won last year with 47% of the vote, the latest Marquette Law School Poll shows the president's approval rating at just 41% in the Badger State.* In Virginia's Democratic gubernatorial primary, most leading members of the Clinton's political network are supporting Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, but many top officials from the Obama campaign are backing former Rep. Tom Perriello.* I mentioned a month ago that this was likely and now it's happened: state Rep. Beth Fukumoto, considered one of the Hawaii GOP’s rising stars, has officially quit the Republican Party. She's planning to become a Democrat.* Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) remains popular in his home state, but his standing appears to be slipping. In a new Washington Post-University of Maryland poll, Hogan's lead over a generic Democrat in next year's election shows the Republican governor ahead by four points. Last fall, the same poll showed Hogan ahead by 16 points.* The number of Democrats running for governor in Illinois continues to grow, with state Sen. Daniel Biss launching his candidacy this week. Incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) is unlikely to face a Republican primary challenger.* And in a story that's worth keeping an eye on, Evan McMullin, who ran for president as an independent last year, is apparently considering a GOP primary campaign in Utah next year against Sen. Orrin Hatch or Rep. Jason Chaffetz. Note, McMullin received 21% of the vote in Utah at the presidential level in 2016.