Wednesday’s campaign round-up

WEDNESDAY’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.

* Rand Paul, the Republican Senate nominee in Kentucky, had pledged to reject all financial help from senators who voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Paul has since decided to abandon that pledge, and his campaign said it wasn’t intended to apply to the general election.

* With less than a week until the Senate Democratic runoff in North Carolina, both candidates are picking up support. This week, former state Sen. Cal Cunningham received some 11th hour funding from the DSCC, while North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall picked up an endorsement from MoveOn.org yesterday.

* In the state of Washington, Sen. Patty Murray (D) leads Dino Rossi (R) by seven in a new Elway Research poll, 47% to 40%. Murray’s lead over the lesser-known GOP candidates is about twice as big.

* A new Associated Press-GfK Poll found Americans “want Democrats to win control of Congress by a 46 percent to 39 percent margin. That is the second straight month in which Democrats have held a delicate advantage on that question since April, when 44 percent preferred Republicans and 41 percent picked Democrats.”

* Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) remains a strong favorite for re-election in Alaska this year, but her primary challenger, Fairbanks lawyer Joe Miller, continues to pick up right-wing support. Today, the Tea Party Express will throw its endorsement to the challenger.

* Don’t be too surprised if Alexi Giannoulias (D) and Rep. Mark Kirk (R) face an independent challenger in Illinois’ Senate race. Mike Niecestro, a Chicago-area mortgage broker, is collecting signatures to appear on the ballot, and has vowed to spend $1 million of his own money on the race. Niecestro would apparently run to the right, and has reached out to Tea Partiers.

* Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) has said he’s not particularly interested in running for president, but the Fox News personality asked that he be included the next time the Des Moines Register polls Iowans about the 2012 race.