Wednesday's Campaign Round-Up, 3.18.20

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.

* In Illinois' 3rd district yesterday, Marie Newman defeated incumbent Rep. Dan Lipinski in a Democratic primary. Lipinski, one of Congress' most conservative Dems, is the first House incumbent in either party to lose in a 2020 primary.

* What's next for Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign? The senator's campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, issued a statement this morning noting that the next primary contest is "at least three weeks away," and during that time, the Vermonter "is going to be having conversations with his supporters to assess his campaign."

* The race for the Republican presidential nomination was far from competitive, and now it's over: NBC News reported overnight that Donald Trump's primary wins yesterday have "put him over the threshold of delegates needed to officially become the party's nominee."

* Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) campaign this week pressed his likely Democratic challenger, former Marine Corps pilot Amy McGrath, to stop airing campaign ads during the coronavirus crisis. The primary date was recently pushed from May 19 to June 23.

* Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), the current chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, distributed a memo to House Republican incumbents a few days ago, with some crisis-related guidance. Among other things, Emmer urged members not to try to fundraise off the global pandemic.

* It may seem hard to believe, but Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) began airing some pro-Trump ads in Ohio last week. Politico reported that the Republicans are trying to ingratiate themselves with Trump and his allies, while "raising their profiles in key electoral battlegrounds" ahead of the 2024 cycle.