Thursday’s campaign round-up

THURSDAY’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.

* Sarah Palin said her new leadership PAC shouldn’t necessarily be interpreted as the first step towards a presidential campaign.

* In Florida, Rep. Allen Boyd (D) announced that he won’t run for the Senate next year. In a bit of a surprise, state Attorney General Bill McCollum (R), who’s run for the Senate twice, also said yesterday he’d skip the open-seat contest.

* Brian Moran’s (D) gubernatorial campaign in Virginia got a boost yesterday with an endorsement from Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones, former chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus.

* Rep. Peter King (R) plans to run for the Senate in New York next year, but according to a new Marist poll, he’ll start as a serious underdog to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D).

* NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas) really doesn’t want Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) to seek re-election next year.

* Might Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) be gearing up for a Senate campaign against Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) next year? Maybe.

* There are some caveats to the data, but Gallup’s latest report on 2008 has to be discouraging for the GOP: “[J]ust five states, collectively containing about 2 percent of the American population, have statistically significant pluralities of adults identifying themselves as Republicans. These are the ‘Mormon Belt’ states of Utah, Idaho and Wyoming, plus Nebraska, plus Alaska. By contrast, 35 states are plurality Democratic, and 10 states are too close to call.”