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.

* Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour will take over for Mark Sanford as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Sanford resigned from the post yesterday.

* It’s a Republican pollster, but Strategic Vision shows former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie (R) leading incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine (D) in this year’s gubernatorial race in New Jersey, 51% to 39%.

* State Rep. Nikki Haley (R), running for governor in South Carolina next year, has generally been known as Mark Sanford’s favorite for the race. Yesterday, Haley “removed a picture of the governor and any mention of him from her campaign Web site.”

* Former U.S. Ambassador Tom Schieffer kicked off his gubernatorial campaign in Texas yesterday, running as a Democrat despite his work in the Bush administration. “I am a Democrat — as Sam Rayburn used to say without prefix, suffix or apology — and I think it is time we all had a governor,” Schieffer said.

* Rep. Joe Sestak (D) took one step closer to launching a Senate campaign in Pennsylvania, telling supporters in a fundraising letter that he’s received encouragement from his family.

* In related news, a new poll in Pennsylvania shows bad news for Sen. Arlen Specter, with 57% of voters in the state agreeing that it’s “time for a change,” and only 43% of Democrats saying Specter deserves another term.

* In still more Pennsylvania news, Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) effectively ruled out a Senate campaign next year, boosting former Rep. Pat Toomey’s chances of being the Republican candidate.

* And in Florida, Marco Rubio continues to line up far-right supporters for his Senate campaign in Florida, the latest being Rep. Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) who was a big supporter of Charlie Crist’s gubernatorial campaign in 2006.