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 special election in New York’s 26th congressional district is finally set, with Democrats nominating Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul (D) over the weekend. She’ll face Assemblywoman Jane Corwin (R) in the traditionally “red” district.

* A new poll from the Billings Gazette offers a reminder that Montana’s U.S. Senate race is likely to be the closest in the country in 2012. The survey found incumbent Sen. Jon Tester (D) leading Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) by just one point, 46% to 45%.

* Likely GOP presidential candidates are now still scrambling to hire top-tier staffers before their rivals do. Haley Barbour scored something of a coup over the weekend, picking up Sally Bradshaw, a veteran Republican strategist, who had worked for Mitt Romney.

* The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee narrowly outraised its Republican counterpart in February, $3.4 million to $3.3 million. The DSCC’s total is the best off-year February either party’s Senate committee has ever had.

* The Republican National Committee’s debt problems continue in the wake of former Chairman Michael Steele’s mismanagement. The RNC ended February more than $21 million in debt, following previously unreported expenses.

* In West Virginia’s gubernatorial race, one of a handful of statewide contests in 2011, House Speaker Rick Thompson (D) is picking up major support from in-state unions, including the AFL-CIO and the West Virginia Education Association.

* States are facing such severe budget crunches that at least six are considering plans to scrap their 2012 presidential primaries.

* As foolish as this sounds, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) is once again making noises about another presidential campaign, but no one in New Hampshire seems to care.