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:

* Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), the second-highest ranking Republican in the chamber, will announce today he will not seek re-election next year. He’s the fourth incumbent senator to announce retirement plans in just the last few weeks.

* In light of former Rep. Christopher Lee’s (R) unexpected resignation in upstate New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) will have to call a special election to fill the seat. The list of possible candidates in this “red” district is pretty long, but failed gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino (R) said this morning he will not run, disappointing reporters everywhere.

* Expressing his strongest interest in the 2012 presidential race to date, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) boasted to Politico of his fundraising prowess and big-name GOP supporters. “If I were to decide to do this, we would have an unbelievable letterhead,” Daniels said yesterday.

* If local polls are accurate, former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel (D) will apparently cruise to an easy win in Chicago’s mayoral race. The first round of balloting begins in two weeks, but if Emanuel tops 50%, there won’t be a second round.

* Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) didn’t start out as a far-right homophobe. He just evolved into one in preparation for his presidential campaign.

* Colorado is generally considered a swing state, but the latest survey from Public Policy Polling shows the state looking pretty “blue.” President Obama has a 51% approval rating in the state, and in hypothetical 2012 match-ups, the president leads GOP contenders by margins ranging from six to 19 points.

* On a related note, New Mexico has been a swing state in recent cycles, but Public Policy Polling found Obama leading the Republican field by margins ranging from 16 to 29 points.