Friday’s campaign round-up

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:

* Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) is the latest Republican presidential hopeful to create a “testing the waters” account that will allow him to start raising money for his national campaign. He’s the fifth candidate to do so, and probably means Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will have to wait until 2016 to launch his own pointless campaign.

* Redistricting is already causing a stir in Iowa, with Rep. Tom Latham (R) announcing this morning he’ll take on Rep. Leonard Boswell (D) in the newly-redrawn 3rd district. It’ll be one of many contests pitting incumbent House members against other incumbent House members.

* Michigan Republicans had hoped to recruit former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R) to run for the Senate next year against Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D), but he announced this morning he isn’t running.

* The conventional wisdom suggests the Democratic majority in the Senate is likely to disappear in 2012, but Nate Silver’s latest analysis notes, “I don’t think the Republicans are terribly heavy favorites: instead just a wee bit above 50 percent.”

* On a related note, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair Patty Murray yesterday outlined her committee’s plans for the 2012 cycle, including an informal endorsement of Rep. Shelley Berkley’s (D) campaign in Nevada. Murray said DSCC is “aggressively recruiting” candidates in Massachusetts, Indiana, Maine, Arizona, and Texas, and hopes bitter GOP primaries in some of those races will improve Dems’ odds.

* In Ohio, state Treasurer Josh Mandel is arguably the only credible Republican eager to take on Sen. Sherrod Brown (D), and has begun staffing up for the campaign.

* In New Hampshire, former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) lost by an 11-point margin last year, but she’s nevertheless trying to set up a rematch against Rep. Frank Guinta (R) for next year.

* Speaking of the Granite State, it’s generally assumed that Mitt Romney is the heavy favorite in New Hampshire’s presidential primary, but Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour intends to try there anyway.

* And in case Rep. Ron Paul and Sen. Rand Paul weren’t quite enough, Dr. Robert Paul is apparently considering a Republican Senate campaign in Texas, in the seat currently held by the retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.