FRIDAY’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.

* Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D) selection as New York’s new senator has pushed a whole lot of dominoes in the Empire State and “appears to have thrown the state’s political scene into a free-for-all.”

* As expected, even before taking office, Gillibrand seems to already be shifting to the left. The first issue is gay rights, on which Gillibrand has been anything but a progressive ally.

* A special three-judge panel rejected Al Franken’s request that Norm Coleman’s latest lawsuit be dismissed.

* Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D), a close friend to Barack Obama, has begun taking steps toward challenging Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) in a 2010 Democratic primary.

* Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) for president? John McCain raised the possibility last night.

* I knew Obama was popular, but I didn’t expect him to have 60% approval ratings in very “red” states like Texas and Tennessee.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. 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.