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.

* The conventional wisdom insists President Obama is losing independents (an ambiguous word to begin with). Charles Franklin takes a closer look at the evidence and finds steady independent support for the president since August.

* Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) is trying to get off the ropes as his Senate campaign loses GOP support to primary rival Marco Rubio. Crist argued yesterday that it would be “hard to be more conservative than I am on [the] issues.” No one seriously believes that, but I guess he’s not considering a party switch.

* In Arizona, the latest Rasmussen poll shows state Attorney General Terry Goddard (D) as the leading contender for next year’s gubernatorial campaign, with modest leads over the likely GOP candidates. The exception: controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, known for his scandalous approach to immigration policy, who enjoyed majority support in the poll. Arpaio has not, however, said whether he’s eyeing the race.

* Former Ambassador Tom Schieffer (D) has ended his gubernatorial campaign in Texas. His departure makes it that much more likely that Houston Mayor Bill White (D) will get in the race.

* Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) is facing some primary competition next year, despite his conservative voting record, because the base is convinced he’s not right-wing enough. Inglis has been a long-time mentor to Sen. Jim DeMint (R), but the far-right senator will apparently not endorse his old friend.

* In California, Carly Fiorina (R) still hopes to generate conservative support for her Senate campaign. Yesterday, when asked whether she might get an endorsement from Sarah Palin, Fiorina told reporters, “I have no idea. You’ll have to ask Sarah Palin. She’s on a mega book tour right now — that’s exciting to see. I share Sarah Palin’s values.”

* Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) is reportedly mulling over whether to take on Sen. Russ Feingold (D) next year. A new survey from Public Policy Polling shows Feingold with a comfortable lead over Thompson, 50% to 41%, in a hypothetical match-up.

* I’m already officially tired of hearing about Lou Dobbs’ possible interest in a presidential campaign.

* And speaking of misguided national ambitions, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) will be testing the presidential waters in South Carolina next month.