Tuesday’s campaign round-up

TUESDAY’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:

* Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), the new chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, “guaranteed” this week that “the House will be in play this cycle.” He added, “I can guarantee you that the Republicans are already nervous and will be more nervous as we get deeper into the cycle.”

* Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R), as he moves closer to a presidential campaign, is denying reports that he lobbied on behalf of the Mexican government in support of “amnesty” policies. Using the preferred rhetoric of the GOP base, Barbour said in a statement that he “never advocated amnesty for illegal aliens.”

* In New Hampshire, a WMUR Granite State Poll shows former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as the clear frontrunner in next year’s Republican presidential primary with 40% support. Sarah Palin is struggling badly in the state with 6%.

* In the special election to replace former Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) threw her support yesterday to Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn (D), giving Hahn an early edge.

* In New York, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) will seek a full term next year, a new Siena poll shows her faring well. Though Gillibrand does not yet have a key GOP rival, her approval rating is up to 57%, and 52% are inclined to support her re-election.

* Controversial Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio (R) is expressing interest in running for the seat of retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) in 2012.

* In Utah, a new Deseret News/KSL poll shows incumbent Sen. Orrin Hatch leading Rep. Jason Chaffetz in a hypothetical Republican primary by 10 points. Chaffetz has not yet said whether he intends to run.

* In Florida, Sen. Bill Nelson (D) fares relatively well in a new Mason-Dixon poll, but there are signs of trouble. In hypothetical match-ups against Rep. Connie Mack (R) and former Sen. George LeMieux (R), Nelson leads by 5 and 14 points, respectively. In both cases, however, the incumbent is below 50%.