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.

* To no one’s surprise, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) will announce today that he’s not running for the Senate next year, making it very likely that Giuliani will not seek any elected office in 2010. He will reportedly throw his support to former Rep. Rick Lazio (R), who badly lost his Senate bid nine years ago to Hillary Clinton.

* Former Bush Budget Director Rob Portman (R) is running for U.S. Senate in Ohio, hoping voters overlook his record in the Bush administration. To that end, it’s odd that Portman invited Karl Rove to appear at an Ohio Lincoln Day Dinner on January 21.

* It seems hard to imagine, but a new survey from Public Policy Polling shows ophthalmologist Rand Paul (R), Ron Paul’s inexperienced son, with a big lead in his Senate primary race in Kentucky. The poll shows Paul with 44% among Republicans, while Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, who enjoys the party’s backing, has 25%.

* It’s always best to take internal polls with a grain of salt, but Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) is circulating data showing him trailing former Rep. Rob Simmons (R) by five, 51% to 46%. That’s not good news for the incumbent, but it’s far better than the double-digit deficits Dodd has seen in other recent polls.

* In Illinois, a new Rasmussen poll shows interesting results for Democrats. Incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn (D), who assumed the office after Blagojevich’s impeachment, trails former state Attorney General Jim Ryan (R) in a hypothetical match-up, 46% to 39%. State Comptroller Dan Hynes (D), however, taking on Quinn in a Democratic primary, narrowly leads Ryan in his own hypothetical match-up.

* There have been rumors about Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.) retiring next year, but his spokesperson insisted yesterday that he is, in fact, running for re-election.

* Bill Kristol wants to see House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.), one of Congress’ dimmest bulbs, take on Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) next year. That seems unlikely.