Monday’s campaign round-up

MONDAY’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 Nebraska Republican Party felt compelled to remove an image from its website featuring Sen. Ben Nelson’s (D) face in red as the bullseye in a target. State GOP Chairman Mark Fahnelson didn’t seem happy about having to remove the image — he said he was responding to “gripes” from Nelson’s “Democrat [sic] supporters” — but he did it anyway.

* I guess the 2012 cycle is now officially underway? Incumbent Sen. Kent Conrad (D) of North Dakota, considered a top GOP pick-up opportunity next year, is launching campaign radio ads this week.

* Remember Sue Lowden? Her Republican Senate campaign in Nevada was derailed by the “chicken for checkups” incident last year. Lowden is, however, considering a comeback, and may run again in 2012 if scandal-plagued incumbent Sen. John Ensign (R) decides not to seek re-election.

* In Nebraska, Ben Nelson (D) will soon have yet another Republican challenger, with state Treasurer Don Stenberg telling party leaders over the weekend that he’s likely to launch a campaign fairly soon.

* We can expect word from Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) before the end of the month as to whether he’ll take on Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) next year.

* Don’t be too surprised if Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) faces a primary challenger if she seeks another term — a new Blum and Weprin poll for the Dallas Morning News shows her approval rating dipping below 50% statewide, and down to just 56% among Texas Republicans.

* Freshman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said this morning he’s not interested in being a vice presidential candidate in 2012. We’ll see if he sticks to that.

* And in Massachusetts, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (D) doesn’t think any Democrat can beat Sen. Scott Brown (R) in 2012. Of course, no one thought Brown could win in the first place, so it’s worth remembering that surprises happen.