Tuesday's Campaign Round-Up, 1.7.20

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

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

* Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly told Senate Republican leaders yesterday that he doesn't intend to run for Kansas' open Senate seat this year. If that holds, it leaves an unsettled GOP landscape in Kansas, where a variety of Republicans, including Kris Kobach, are already running. Democrats haven't won a Senate race in the state since the 1930s, but party leaders have rallied behind state Sen. Barbara Bollier (D), a former Republican.

* Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) this morning unveiled a plan to overhaul existing bankruptcy laws, which is, among other things, a shot across the bow at former Vice President Joe Biden: the former Delaware senator helped write a controversial bankruptcy law in 2005, which Warren is eager to change.

* Five Democratic presidential hopefuls have qualified for next week's debate, and the polling deadline for the remaining candidates is Friday. Tom Steyer is the only contender who's close, but he still needs two more polls with at least 5% support. Andrew Yang needs three more such polls, while Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) needs four.

* In polling news, the latest data from Mason-Dixon, released late last week, found Biden leading Donald Trump in hypothetical match-ups in Florida and Virginia. The Republican incumbent led the other leading Democratic contenders.

* Speaking of the president, Trump will travel to southern New Jersey on Jan. 28, in order to campaign for Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who recently switched parties and pledged his "undying support" for Trump. Van Drew, who voted overwhelmingly with Democrats during his brief congressional career, is still likely to face a GOP primary.

* Over the weekend, Sen. Thom Tillis (R), facing a potentially tough re-election fight this year in North Carolina, thought it'd be a good idea to solicit public support for a birthday card for Eric Trump. It led the editorial board of the Charlotte Observer to ask, "Do voters want a U.S. senator who understands that it is sometimes his or her uncomfortable duty to question a president, especially one who so regularly threatens constitutional boundaries and historical norms? Or do we want a senator so consumed with currying favor from Donald Trump that he embarrasses himself and the state he represents?"

* And in Virginia, former Rep. Scott Taylor (R), whose controversial campaign tactics contributed to his 2018 defeat, was planning a 2020 campaign against incumbent Sen. Mark Warner (D). Taylor announced yesterday, however, that he's instead decided to seek a rematch against Rep. Elaine Luria (D). In their first match-up, Luria won in the 2nd district by two percentage points.

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