Thursday’s campaign round-up

THURSDAY’S CAMPAIGN ROUND-UP…. Today’s installment of campaign-related news items that wouldn’t necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:

* The early tallies in Alaska look very good for Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) — nearly 98% of the write-in ballots opened yesterday went to her. The count, which began yesterday, will continue into next week.

* On a related note, a federal judge yesterday rejected Senate candidate Joe Miller’s request for an injunction to stop the vote-counting. Miller had hoped voters’ will would be ignored if Murkowski supporters spelled her name wrong.

* While Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele continues to seek support for another term, challengers continue to emerge. Connecticut GOP Chairman Chris Healy blasted Steele yesterday, saying, “I think at some point someone has to step up and say the emperor has no clothes. I’m more than willing to do that. I think I can give the RNC what it needs over the next two years. I don’t have any confidence that the current management can get it done.”

* In Texas, Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D) appears to have come up short in his re-election bid, but yesterday, he requested a manual recount.

* Senate Dems still can’t find someone willing to serve as chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Yesterday, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) announced he’s not interested in the post, either.

* There are three gubernatorial races in 2011, and in one of them, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) will start off as a clear favorite for another term. A new survey from Public Policy Polling shows the incumbent with fairly strong leads over likely GOP challengers, and a 48% approval rating overall.

* In Nevada, PPP also found scandal-plagued Sen. John Ensign (R) with strong approval ratings among Republicans, and big leads over possible GOP primary challengers.

* And here’s a fun data-point: 2010 was the worst cycle for incumbents in four decades, but 86% of incumbents still won.