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.

* Big news out of West Virginia this morning, where Gov. Joe Manchin (D) will reportedly seek a special election this year to fill the vacancy left by the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.). Taegan Goddard added, “Manchin said he would ‘highly consider’ seeking the seat himself in a special election.”

* In Kentucky, the latest survey from Public Policy Polling shows a Senate race that couldn’t be any closer. Right-wing ophthalmologist Rand Paul (R) and state Attorney General Jack Conway (D) are tied in the poll at 43% each.

* Speaking of Rand Paul, the extremist candidate was on record opposing a physical fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. He’s now reversed course, and supports the idea he rejected.

* In California, a new Field Poll shows state Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) leading former eBay CEO Meg Whitman by just one point in this year’s gubernatorial campaign, 44% to 43%. Brown’s unconventional campaign strategy seems to be costing him support among Latino voters and other key Democratic constituencies.

* In Indiana, Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D) launched his first television ad of the Senate campaign, emphasizing his record as a sheriff for 25 years. Subtly referencing the fact that his opponent, Dan Coats, is a corporate lobbyist, Ellsworth concluded the spot by saying “the special interests and lobbyists already have enough senators on their side.”

* Massachusetts Treasurer Tim Cahill, running for governor as an independent, has seen his poll numbers drop badly in the face of intense GOP attacks, but Cahill insists he’s staying in the race.

* Democrats hoping to defeat Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) in Minnesota this year will be pleased to hear that Tarryl Clark (D) has now raised a whopping $2 million for the House campaign.

* And in Florida, disgraced former health care executive Rick Scott is faring well as a Republican gubernatorial candidate, but he hasn’t quite gotten around to reading up on Florida’s state government.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

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.