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 midterm elections were just last month, but the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is already intensifying its candidate recruitment program for 2012. The first recruitment meeting was yesterday. Among the Dems’ early targets: Rep. Dan Lungren, Illinois Rep.-elect Robert Dold, New Jersey Rep. Leonard Lance, New Hampshire Rep.-elect Charlie Bass, and Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent. Dems would need a net gain of 25 seats to win back the House majority.
* It was assumed that Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R) would seek re-election in Arizona in 2012, but the conservative leader has not yet stated his plans. Adding to the speculation is his weak fundraising and his decision to not yet activate his political organization
* Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D) has not yet said whether he’ll run again in 2012, but he already has a Republican challenger. Failed House candidate Greg Sowards, now a Tea Party activist, kicked off his Senate race yesterday. In 2008, Sowards spent several hundred thousand dollars of his own money in a House GOP primary, but lost.
* The DCCC hopes to get several recently-defeated House incumbents to seek rematches in 2012, but Rep. Walt Minnick (D) of Idaho won’t be one of them. “I think I’m done with elective politics,” Minnick told Roll Call. “I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but I think it’s time for somebody else.”
* Blue Dog Rep. Baron Hill (D) lost his re-election bid in Indiana last month, but apparently isn’t interested in running for governor in 2012. The most talked-about Democratic candidates for the race remain Reps. Brad Ellsworth and Joe Donnelly.
* The top Republican candidate to take on Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) in 2012 appears to be state Attorney General Jon Bruning, who announced a few weeks ago, but don’t be surprised if former Gov. Kay Orr (R) also throws her hat into the ring.
* In Wisconsin, the latest survey from Public Policy Polling shows President Obama leading his potential GOP challengers in head-to-head hypothetical match-ups, but by modest margins. The president leads Mitt Romney by only four points, but is ahead of Sarah Palin in the state by 14 points.
* And on a related note, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows the president ahead nationally in match-ups against his likely Republican opponents. Romney is closest in the poll, trailing Obama by seven, while Palin does the worst, trailing the president by 22 points.