Tuesday’s campaign round-up

TUESDAY’S CAMPAIGN ROUND-UP…. Today’s installment of campaign-related news items that wouldn’t necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:

* As the vote counting continues in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) has pulled ahead of Joe Miller (R) for the first time in the overall vote tally. It’s a lead she seems unlikely to relinquish.

* Sen. George LeMieux (R) of Florida, appointed to the post when Mel Martinez (R) retired unexpectedly, seems intent on running for a full term in 2012. But LeMieux will have an uphill challenge when he runs — he hasn’t made much of an impression on Floridians, who don’t know who he is.

* Sen. Joe Lieberman (I) will probably seek re-election in 2012. But it’s not at all clear how he’ll run, whether he’ll seek a major party nomination, or whether he’ll have the support necessary to win. In 2006, he persevered thanks to token GOP opposition — a luxury he won’t enjoy next time. Connecticut GOP Chairman Chris Healy told Roll Call, “The Republican candidate this time will be supported and stronger. And any Republican who gets over 25 percent of the vote, there’s no way Lieberman can win as an Independent.”

* Not surprisingly, Sen. Richard Lugar (R) will run for re-election in 2012 in Indiana. The 78-year-old incumbent is favored to win another term, but he may yet face a right-wing primary challenger.

* Steve Daines (R), an unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant governor in 2008, announced that he’ll take on to Sen. Jon Tester (D) in Montana in 2012. The key GOP candidate to keep an eye on in Rep. Dennis Rehberg (R), who would likely be a more credible opponent for the Democratic incumbent.

* Former Houston Mayor Bill White (D) ran a respectable gubernatorial campaign in Texas this year, but Dems shouldn’t expect to recruit him for other upcoming races — White said yesterday he’s not running for the Senate in 2012, for example.

* The Family Research Council, a religious right powerhouse, ran attack ads against Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao (R) in New Orleans last month, criticizing him for not being right-wing enough. Cao lost, and now he’s blaming the FRC.

* And speaking of Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) insists he’s really not running for president in 2012. No one’s sure whether to believe him.