Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Sen. Thom Tillis' (R) re-election campaign in North Carolina just got a little trickier: Garland Tucker III, the retired chairman and CEO of Triangle Capital Corporation, has decided to launch a Republican primary challenge against the incumbent and he's picked up some support from some local party leaders. It will be Tucker's first bid for elected office.
* Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.), running on a platform that emphasized combatting gun violence, won one of last year's most competitive congressional races. This week Carolyn Meadows, the new president of the National Rifle Association, argued, "It is wrong to say like McBath said, that the reason she won was because of her anti-gun stance. That didn't have anything to do with it -- it had to do with being a minority female."
* A growing number of congressional Republican leaders are saying, on the record, that they want Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to be the Democratic presidential nominee because they see him as the easiest to beat and believe his candidacy would hurt down-ballot Dems. For his part, the Vermonter told Politico, "I would suggest they underestimate me at their own peril and I hope they do."
* Despite the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's efforts to protect the party's incumbents, a variety of prominent progressive organizations yesterday endorsed Marie Newman's primary challenge to Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), one of Congress' most conservative Democrats. Next year will be Newman's second primary campaign against the Illinois congressman.
* Democrats flipped two congressional seats in Iowa last year, including Rep. Cindy Axne's (D) narrow win over former Rep. David Young (R) in the state's 2nd district. Yesterday, Young, who lost by about two points, announced plans for a rematch.
* Remember the controversy surrounding former Rep. Scott Taylor's (R) campaign in Virginia last year? It's not over: one of the Republican's former staffers has been indicted on election fraud charges.
* The latest national Monmouth poll found a 57% majority believe socialism is "not compatible with American values." There were, not surprisingly, considerable partisan differences.
* And for those who keep an eye on state legislative special elections, note that voters in Connecticut's 130th legislative district will elect a new state House representative today.