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.

* Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) of Texas confirmed yesterday that she will resign her Senate seat later this year, in order to focus her attention on her gubernatorial campaign. Incumbent Gov. Rick Perry, who will face Hutchison in a GOP primary, would fill the vacancy in advance of a special election.

* In a strange twist, just a few hours after explaining her intention to resign this fall, Hutchison reversed course and said she may stay in the Senate while running for governor. Hutchison added that her comments were meant to suggest that Perry should drop out of the race. It’s all rather confusing.

* The latest SurveyUSA poll shows Bob McDonnell (R) leading Creigh Deeds (D) in Virginia’s gubernatorial race by 15 points, 55% to 40%. In early June, SUSA showed McDonnell up by four.

* Rudy Giuliani, laying the groundwork for a likely gubernatorial campaign next year, will speak at the Crain’s Business Breakfast Forum today in New York, delivering an address on “his ideas for fixing the nation’s economy, and the economic and political problems in New York State.”

* California Republicans probably shouldn’t count on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) to give the party’s candidates a boost next year. A new poll from the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California puts the governor’s approval rating at just 28%. The same poll showed President Obama’s approval rating in the Golden State at 65%.

* In a setback for NRCC recruiting, Connecticut state Sen. John McKinney (R) has decided not to take on Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.).

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Steve Benen

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.