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.

* Over the weekend, Al Franken’s campaign in Minnesota said it expects to win the unsettled Senate race by 35 to 50 votes. By the Star-Tribune‘s count, Franken currently leads by 251.

* On a related note, the recount will continue in Minnesota this week, with somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 ballots left to be processed. (Will the AP call the race once those votes have been settled?)

* The presidents of both NBC and NBC News believe that Chris Matthews will not run for the Senate in Pennsylvania in 2010. Network president Phil Griffin said over the weekend. “I’ve talked to Chris. I think he’s going to be here [at MSNBC] for a long time.”

* Hillary Clinton is still burdened by a significant debt from her presidential campaign, but it’s down to $6.4 million from $12 million. There are a total of 16 creditors remaining, the biggest of which is Mark Penn’s consulting firm.

* Kentucky Democrats seem to think Sen. Jim Bunning (R) will be vulnerable in 2010, and some big in-state names are eyeing the race. Last week, Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo (D) said he’s considering a rematch of the 2004 contest, and a few days ago, state Attorney General Jack Conway (D) said he’s thinking about the race, too.

* Former Denver mayor and Clinton cabinet official Federico Pena (D) does not want to be appointed to fill Ken Salazar’s (D-Colo.) Senate seat.

* There will be a lot of people in D.C. for the Obama inauguration, but not quite as many as previously feared.

* And in Alaska, if Sarah Palin challenges incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski in a 2010 Republican primary, a new poll shows the governor as the clear favorite.

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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.