FRIDAY’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 something of a surprise, Rep. Connie Mack IV (R) of Florida announced this morning that he will not run for the Senate next year, despite press accounts yesterday saying he would. His absence leaves a GOP field featuring state Senate President Mike Haridopolos, former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, all of whom have expressed interest.

* Aaron Blake and Chris Cillizza report on the national Republican Party’s Census problem: “While much of the shifting population is moving to red states, there is increasing evidence that it’s making those red states bluer, and most of the demographic trends are heading in Democrats’ direction.”

* Sen. Jim DeMint (R) of South Carolina flirted with the possibility of seeking national office next year, but yesterday, ruled out a run for president.

* In Wisconsin, Democrats believe they now have more than half the petitions they’ll need to recall eight Republican state senators.

* It’s still hard to imagine how Huntsman gets ahead in a GOP primary, but he’s apparently going to try: “Horizon PAC, the organization widely seen as a presidential campaign-in-waiting for U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, has signed on Kyle Roberts as its media buyer and digital strategist.”

* On a related note, a statewide poll in Utah this week finds that in-state Republicans overwhelmingly prefer former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney over their own former governor, Jon Huntsman, at the presidential level, 65% to 16%.

* In Virginia, the field of Republican Senate candidates may not be quite set yet. Former Sen. George Allen is obviously the favorite, but Tim Donner, the founder of Horizon Television, is also eyeing the race.

* And in New Mexico, where there’s an open U.S. Senate race, former Rep. Heather Wilson appears to have the support of the GOP establishment, but Lt. Gov. John Sanchez is now expected to get in the race. Greg Sowards, a local businessman, is also planning to run, and has vowed there will be “no one to my right” in the Republican primary.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

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.