Thursday’s campaign round-up

THURSDAY’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.

* Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.) will retire this year, becoming the 13th House Dem to step down at the end of this Congress. It’s such a Democratic seat, Republicans are not expected to field a candidate.

* In Texas, the latest survey from Public Policy Polling shows tepid support statewide for Republican Gov. Rick Perry, but he nevertheless leads Houston Mayor Bill White (D) in a hypothetical match-up, 48% to 42%.

* Democratic leaders had hoped to recruit University of Michigan regent Denise Ilitch into the state’s gubernatorial race, but she announced yesterday that she isn’t running. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and state House Speaker Andy Dillon are now the top two Dems in the race.

* Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) Democratic challenger, attorney Chad McGowan, announced yesterday that he’s ending his long-shot campaign. “I’ve come to the conclusion that now is the wrong time for me to mount a successful campaign for the United States Senate,” McGowan said in a statement Wednesday. “The demands of a young family place a premium on every minute.”

* Speaking of DeMint, the right-wing senator had been making noises about weighing in on the GOP Senate primary in Arizona, where Sen. John McCain and former Rep. J.D. Hayworth are competing, but DeMint said yesterday he will remain neutral.

* Republicans have put Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) at the top of their target list, but a new survey from Public Policy Polling shows him looking quite competitive against his GOP rivals.

* And in Alabama, the NRCC just sent out a fundraising letter attacking Rep. Parker Griffith — who recently became a Republican. Oops.