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:

* Longtime aides to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) are “whispering behind the scenes” that the speed of her recovery may make it possible for her to run for the Senate next year. Wishful thinking? Time will tell.

* Fights over the 2012 GOP presidential nominating calendar are intensifying, with Republican officials in Iowa and South Carolina arguing that if Florida doesn’t back off, the Republican National Convention shouldn’t be held in Tampa.

* Speaking of Florida, the latest survey from Public Policy Polling shows Sen. Bill Nelson (D) looking fairly strong in advance of next year’s re-election campaign. Though his statewide approval rating is underwhelming, Nelson currently has double-digit leads over his most likely GOP rivals.

* When Quinnipiac shows President Obama’s approval rating going down, the media treats it as a very big deal. When the AP shows his approval rating reaching 53%, it’s apparently a non-story.

* In Nevada, Rep. Shelley Berkley (D) appears to be the Democrats’ strongest Senate candidate next year, but she’s reportedly “torn” on whether to give up her House seat for an uncertain statewide race.

* In Wisconsin, former Rep. Mark Neumann (R), who’s already lost one Senate campaign, is reportedly meeting with party leaders about running again next year, this time against Sen. Herb Kohl (D).

* It’s been long assumed that Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) would run for statewide office in Indiana next year, but it’s been unclear which one he’d seek. As of this week, Donnelly’s eyes are apparently on the Senate — a decision made easier by the credible right-wing primary challenge to Sen. Dick Lugar (R).

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Steve Benen

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.