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:

* After Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) declared victory in Alaska last night, the Republican Party of Alaska issued a statement calling on their nominee, Joe Miller, to “respect the will of the voters and end his campaign in a dignified manner.”

* Miller, at this point, appears to have other plans. The Republican extremist has not conceded, and told Fox News last night that he has concerns about the vote-counting process in Alaska. Miller has not ruled out calling for a statewide hand recount.

* RNC Chairman Michael Steele still hopes to win another term, but some powerful Republican players continue to work to prevent it. Yesterday, Govs. Haley Barbour (R-Miss.) and Rick Perry (R-Texas) — the outgoing and income chairmen of the Republican Governors Association — both called for Steele to be replaced.

* Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will have to run for a full term in just two years, and Republicans still hope to convince Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R) to run against him. Capito, who considered the 2010 race over the summer before deciding to seek re-election to the House, said yesterday of the 2012 Senate race, “I’m not ruling it out by any stretch.”

* Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), who announced this week that he’ll seek another term in 2012, remains the most popular political figure in Indiana. Whether that’s enough for him to avoid a right-wing primary challenger remains to be seen.

* Freshmen congressional lawmakers won’t actually cast votes until next year, but they’re already trying to raise money, some to retire campaign debts, some in preparation for the next election.

* And there was some debate recently about whether former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin (R) intended to run for president in 2012, and I was in the “of course she’s running” camp. As of yesterday, it looks like my side was correct.

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Steve Benen

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.