WEDNESDAY’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:

* A new national Associated Press poll offers some good news for almost everyone in Washington. President Obama’s approval rating, for example, is up to 53%, roughly his best numbers in a year. Approval for congressional Republicans, meanwhile, now stands at 36%, which sounds awful, but it’s up from 29% in the fall.

* In Nevada, a new survey from Public Policy Polling shows Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) struggling badly if he faces Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) in a primary next year. The House member, who hasn’t stated his plans, leads Ensign in a hypothetical match-up, 52% to 34%.

* Speaking of Nevada, PPP also found that Republicans in the state currently favor Mitt Romney in the fight for 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Romney enjoys 31% support, followed by Sarah Palin at 19%.

* In remarks that should effectively close the door, Vicki Kennedy, the widow of Sen. Ted Kennedy, told the Boston Globe yesterday that “there’s no elective office” in her future. There has been some talk of trying to recruit Kennedy to take on Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) next year.

* For the second time this week, a poll shows Mike Huckabee as the early favorite in the GOP’s Iowa caucuses. This time, it’s PPP showing him with a 12-point lead over Romney, his next closest competitor.

* If Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is still weighing the possibility of a presidential campaign, his constituents have some advice: don’t bother.

* And Dave Weigel raised an interesting observation about the presidential campaign calendar. We’re about a year from the first caucus/primary votes, and the only candidate we know for sure to be running is President Obama. At this point in the last campaign cycle, 14 candidates from both parties had already launched their campaigns.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. 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.