Tuesday’s campaign round-up

TUESDAY’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.

* Al Franken (D) will be sworn in this afternoon as the junior senator from Minnesota.

* The National Republican Senatorial Committee welcomes him with an unusually cheap web video, taking a Franken impersonation of the late Paul Wellstone out of context.

* Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele believes Sarah Palin will help the party by campaigning for Republican gubernatorial candidates in New Jersey and Virginia. The campaigns themselves, however, haven’t rushed to invite Palin for a visit.

* A new Quinnipiac poll shows Ohioans souring on Democratic leaders, from President Obama on down, as the state’s economy struggles badly through the recession. Democratic Senate candidates Lee Fisher and Jennifer Brunner still lead former Bush Budget Director Rob Portman, but by narrow margins. Likewise, Gov. Ted Strickland (D) leads John Kasich, but only by five points.

* He hasn’t put up Crist-like numbers, but Rep. Kendrick Meek’s (D-Fla.) Senate campaign reportedly raised $1.2 million in the second quarter.

* Speaking of Florida, Reps. Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) announced yesterday they are supporting Charlie Crist in the GOP primary over Marco Rubio.

* GOP officials would still love to see Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) run for the Senate next year, but that still seems very unlikely.

* And actor Alec Baldwin doesn’t seem to be making any immediate plans, but he’s apparently interested in running for public office.