Wednesday’s campaign round-up

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:

* In light of Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I) retirement in Connecticut, the race to fill the vacancy is likely to get pretty intense. Among Dems, former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz is already in, and Reps. Chris Murphy and Joe Courtney may soon join her. Among Republicans, former wrestling company executive Linda McMahon and former Rep. Rob Simmons are both interested. McMahon and Simmons, of course, also just ran against one another in 2010.

* The West Virginia state Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a gubernatorial race has to be held this year. Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) will reportedly try to keep the post, but will likely face at least one primary challenger. Former Secretary of State Betty Ireland (R) has already announced her intention to run.

* In Texas, former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz announced this morning that he’s running for the U.S. Senate, hoping to succeed retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R).

* On a related note, Public Policy Polling reported yesterday that every possible combination of candidates shows Republicans with huge leads in the Texas contest. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) appeared to be the strongest candidate.

* Defeated Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell has filed the paperwork to create her own political action committee, ChristinePAC.

* Sen. Orrin Hatch (R), running for re-election in Utah next year, has reason to be nervous. He’s likely to face a challenge from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R), and a statewide poll this week shows Hatch trailing the congressman by quite a bit.

* In New Jersey, a Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind poll shows Sen. Robert Menendez (D) with double-digit leads over potential GOP challengers, in advance of his 2012 re-election campaign.

* Speaking of the Garden State, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) insisted this week that he’s not going to run for president in 2012. “I am not arrogant enough to believe that after one year as governor … that I am ready to be president of the United States,” he told Fox News.

* And in Virginia, DNC Chairman Tim Kaine believes Sen. Jim Webb (D) will run for a second term. If Webb skips the race, Kaine added that he won’t be the Democratic candidate. (thanks to reader T.D. for the tip)