Friday’s campaign round-up

FRIDAY’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 tallies in Alaska continue to look very good for Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R). Tthe state’s Division of Elections has reviewed write-in ballots for nearly half the state and she’s winning about 98% of them. Counting will continue through the weekend.

* There are two U.S. House races in California in which a winner has not yet been determined, but yesterday, both incumbents — Democrats Jim Costa and Jerry McNerney — declared victory.

* For those still counting, there are eight unresolved U.S. House races remaining.

* Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele picked up his first official challenger this morning, with former Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis announcing his bid. Anuzis sought the same post last year, but lost to Steele.

* The RNC’s field may get pretty large — in addition to Anuzis, Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason is gearing up to run for the position.

* With his “listening tour” apparently over, former congressman and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel will formally launch his mayoral campaign in Chicago tomorrow.

* Outgoing Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle (R) will decide early next year whether she’ll take on incumbent Sen. Daniel Akaka (D) in 2012.

* Speaking of 2012 Senate races, don’t be too surprised if former Sen. Jim Talent (R) seeks a rematch against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D). Talent has been gearing up for the race for quite a while, and appears better organized than the other GOP candidates eyeing the race. In 2006, McCaskill beat Talent by three points in a strong year for Dems.

* And word went out yesterday that NBC and Politico will co-host the first debate for Republican presidential candidates in spring 2011 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, Calif. You read that right — the first debate for GOP presidential hopefuls is only about five months away. Expect a lot of kick-off announcements very early in 2011.