FRIDAY’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.

* launched a fundraising campaign this week, collecting funds to be used against Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) in 2012. The initial goal was $400,000. In less than 48 hours, donations topped $1 million.

* The NRCC hopes to help House Republicans win a majority in next year’s midterms, but the campaign committee’s fundraising is surprisingly weak at this point.

* In Pennsylvania, a new Quinnipiac poll shows Sen. Arlen Specter looking unexpectedly strong in his Democratic primary race against Rep. Joe Sestak, with the incumbent senator now leading by 23 points, 53% to 30%. In a general election match-up against former Rep. Pat Toomey, the poll showed the candidates tied at 44% each.

* While a Rasmussen poll this week showed Florida Gov. Charlie Crist tied in his Republican Senate primary against former state House Speaker Marco Rubio, a new Zogby poll shows Crist up by nine, 45% to 36%.

* In California’s gubernatorial race, a new statewide poll shows former eBay CEO Meg Whitman leads the Republican field, but state Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) leads all GOP candidates in hypothetical match-ups.

* President Obama has taken an interest in Wisconsin’s gubernatorial race, and is signaling his support for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

* Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.) continues to show an interest in challenging Sen. John McCain in a Republican primary next year, and was in D.C. yesterday for some meetings with possible supporters.

* Rand Paul’s Senate campaign in Kentucky suffered a humiliating setback yesterday, when his chief spokesperson, Christopher Hightower, had to resign. Hightower was shown to have posted “disturbing images” and a series of racist comments on his MySpace page.

* Don’t be too surprised if former New Mexico Republican Gov. Gary Johnson (R), who’s something of a political gadfly, runs for president in 2012.

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.