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.

* President Obama has reportedly signaled to New York Gov. David Paterson (D) that he should skip next year’s gubernatorial race. Paterson has said publicly he intends to run anyway, but the NYT reports today that Paterson is “mulling his options” and is “open to the possibility of withdrawing.”

* A Washington Post poll published over the weekend shows Bob McDonnell’s (R) lead in Virginia’s gubernatorial race slipping to just four points, 51% to 47%. McDonnell had lead Creigh Deeds (D) by as much as 15 points a month ago.

* Speaking of Virginia, former Gov. Doug Wilder (D) has not yet thrown his support to Deeds, so President Obama has gotten in touch with Wilder to express the White House’s expectations.

* In one of the first big endorsements in Massachusetts’ special election, Rep. Barney Frank (D) has announced his support for Rep. Mike Capuano (D).

* In Iowa, former Gov. Terry Branstad (R), who has expressed a strong interest in seeking his former job, fares very well in a new Des Moines Register poll. Current Gov. Chet Culver (D) has been considered a fairly safe bet for re-election, but Branstad would obviously change the equation considerably.

* On a related note, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) of Iowa has seen his standing falter in recent months in his home state. His approval rating is still a strong 57%, it was nearly 20 points higher earlier this year.

* And the religious right’s Values Voter Summit held an unscientific 2012 straw poll on Saturday, and Mike Huckabee came out on top with 28% support. He was followed by Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, and Mike Pence.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. 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.