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:

* Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) announced on Fox News last night that he’s formed a presidential fund-raising committee, making him the fourth Republican candidate to take this legal step. Technically, however, it’s not a formal presidential exploratory committee, but rather, a “testing the waters” committee.

* Reinforcing suspicions that he’s engaged in an elaborate publicity stunt, television personality Donald Trump will apparently announce his political intentions on the season finale of his reality show. It will air in mid-May.

* On a related note, Trump wants folks to know, “I have a great relationship with the blacks.” Seriously, that’s what he said.

* In Nevada, Rep. Shelley Berkley (D), arguably the state’s most popular Democrat, has decided to run for the open U.S. Senate seat next year. If she wins the nomination, Berkley will likely face Rep. Dean Heller (R), who launched his campaign last month.

* Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said he has no interest in joining his party’s ticket as the vice presidential nominee. He added, “[S]omebody would have to be pretty desperate to do that.”

* At this point, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) looks very strong going into her re-election bid in Minnesota, and state Republicans are struggling to find a credible challenger for the race.

* Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) enjoys a high approval rating in his home state, but only 33% of his constituents want him to run for president.

* On a related note, to the dismay of the D.C. media establishment, only 22% of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) constituents want him to run for president.

* RNC Chairman Reince Priebus was in Burlington, Vt., last night for a party fundraiser. His attendance drew 125 jeering, sign-waving protestors.