MONDAY’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.
* After being coy for months about his plans, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle (D) has decided not to seek a third term next year.
* As expected, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) officially kicks off her gubernatorial campaign in Texas today. She’ll face incumbent Gov. Rick Perry in a very competitive GOP primary.
* A Washington Post poll released over the weekend shows Bob McDonnell (R) continuing to lead Creigh Deeds (D) in Virginia’s gubernatorial race. Among all registered voters, McDonnell leads 47% to 40%. Among those who say they’re certain to vote in November, McDonnell’s lead grows to 15 points, 54% to 39%.
* The good news for New York Gov. David A. Paterson (D) is that a new Quinnipiac poll shows his approval rating up slightly. The bad news is, he’s now up to 30%. In a hypothetical primary match-up against state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Paterson trails, 61% to 15%.
* There was a straw poll over the weekend at the Netroots Nation conference, held this year in Pittsburgh, on the Democratic Senate primary in Pennsylvania. Rep. Joe Sestak apparently enjoys far more netroots support than Sen. Arlen Specter, leading 46% to 10%. A third of the straw-poll participants are undecided, and 7% disapprove of both candidates. Sestak and Specter appeared at the conference.
* In North Carolina, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall is moving forward with a possible Senate campaign against incumbent Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), but the DSCC is still keeping its recruiting options open. The latest buzz is focused on former Lt. Gov. Dennis Wicker (D), who’s receiving encouragement from former Gov. Jim Hunt, among others.
* Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) has long been worried about a challenge from the right next year, and it appears those concerns were justified. Conservative Bob Lang will reportedly run against Vitter, but will run as an independent.