Tuesday’s Campaign Round-Up, 4.17.18

 msnbc.com  4/17/2018 4:00:07 PM   Steve Benen

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

* The already lengthy list of congressional resignations is about to grow: Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), who was already poised to retire at the end of this Congress, will now walk away from Capitol Hill “in the coming weeks.”

* Though the results should probably be taken with a grain of salt, an Emerson College poll in Arizona’s 8th congressional district found Hiral Tipirneni (D) narrowly leading Debbie Lesko (R), 46% to 45%, in a heavily “red” district. The congressional special election is a week from today.

* On a related note, according to a Daily Kos analysis, the National Republican Congressional Committee’s independent expenditure arm “just dropped another $250,000 on ads attacking Tipirneni,” bringing the NRCC’s total outlay in Arizona’s 8th to $383,000.

* A Monmouth University poll released yesterday showed Democrats with a 19-point advantage over Republicans in the generic congressional ballot among voters in New Jersey. The Garden State’s congressional delegation currently includes five Republicans, but if the Dems’ advantage is this large, several of those seats will be in play in November.

* True to form, Mitt Romney’s Republican Senate campaign in Utah is benefiting from generous support from his Wall Street and corporate allies.

* In Tennessee, retiring Sen. Bob Corker (R) is officially supporting Marsha Blackburn (R), the right-wing House member running to succeed him, but Corker has announced he won’t campaign against her opponent, former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (D).

* In Indiana’s highly contentious Republican Senate primary, the Associated Press reported the other day that Rep. Todd Rokita (R) “likely violated ethics laws as Indiana’s secretary of state by repeatedly accessing a Republican donor database from his government office, prompting party officials to lock him out of the system until he angrily complained.”

* And in an effort to help Democrats compete in rural areas where Republicans now dominate, TPM reports that former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), former Agriculture Secretary and Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack (D), former Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and former Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.) “are launching Rural Forward, an organization to advocate progressive ideas in rural communities and rebuild Democrats’ standing in parts of the country where they’ve been decimated over the last decade.”

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