Monday’s campaign round-up

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

* Obama expects the presidential race to get tighter in the remaining 15 days.

* McCain’s creepy obsession with “Joe the Plumber” isn’t paying political dividends.

* At this point, early voting and absentee ballots seem to favor Obama in several “red” states, including Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

* If you haven’t seen pictures from Obama’s record-breaking crowd in St. Louis on Saturday, it was an impressive showing.

* Obama and Hillary Clinton will campaign together in Florida today, their first joint appearance since a New Hampshire event in June.

* Sarah Palin appeared on “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend, and was in two amusing skits.

* McCain has spent less time in “real” Virginia than Obama.

* The AFL-CIO has a hard-hitting direct-mail piece going out on McCain and retirees.

* In Ohio, a Mason-Dixon poll shows McCain leading Obama by one, 46% to 45%.

* In Colorado, Rasmussen shows Obama leading McCain by seven, 52% to 45%.

* In Minnesota, a Star Tribune poll shows Obama leading McCain by 11, 52% to 41%, Research 2000 shows Obama ahead by 13, 52% to 39%, and SurveyUSA shows Obama up by six, 50% to 44%.

* In Wisconsin, Mason-Dixon shows Obama leading McCain by 12, 51% to 39%, while a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee poll shows Obama up by 15, 51% to 36%.

* In West Virginia, Mason-Dixon shows McCain leading Obama by six, 47% to 41%.

* In Montana, Research 2000 shows McCain leading Obama by four, 49% to 45%.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.