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.

* Some additional challenged ballots were counted yesterday in New York’s 20th, and Democrat Scott Murphy now leads Republican Jim Tedisco by 365 votes.

* Both Americans United for Change and the Democratic National Committee have new ads/videos out today, hitting Republicans as the party of “no.”

* In an interesting new strategy playing out in Florida, a few far-right groups who’ve been critical of Gov. Charlie Crist for not being nearly conservative enough — the Conservative Republican Alliance, the Florida Conservative Reform Caucus, and the Ronald Reagan Young Republican Club of Miami Beach — are organizing to support Crist in a re-election campaign. As the groups see it, they’d much prefer Crist stay in Florida as governor than become a moderate senator.

* Appointed Sen. Michael Bennet (D) will seek a full term next year, but according to Public Policy Polling, he’ll start off in a difficult position. As of now, Bennet’s approval rating is 34%, with 41% disapproving. In hypothetical match-ups against likely Republican opponents, Bennet narrowly trails former Rep. Bob Beauprez, but enjoys modest leads over the other contenders.

* In California, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi (D) had been planning a gubernatorial campaign, but he switched gears yesterday, announcing that he’s running for Congress, hoping to fill the vacancy left by Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D) who’s joining the State Department. Despite Garamendi’s statewide office, he’ll face a very credible challenge for the House from state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D), who already enjoys support from leading California Dems and local unions.

* And while I tend to think 2012 polling is inherently silly this early, I suppose I should mention, just in the interest of comprehensive coverage, that Public Policy Polling shows President Obama leading four potential GOP challengers — Gingrich, Huckabee, Palin, and Romney — with leads ranging from seven to 13 points.

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