THURSDAY’S CAMPAIGN ROUND-UP…. Today’s installment of campaign-related news items that won’t necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:

* In a move that surprised no one, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) appointed Rep. Dean Heller (R) to serve in the Senate, replacing Sen. John Ensign (R) who will step down in disgrace next week. Heller will also run for a full term next year, though now he’ll do so as a quasi-incumbent.

* Mike Huckabee has not yet decided on whether to run for president again, and his current employer, Fox News, is urging him to hurry up. Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have already left the network in advance of their presidential campaigns.

* In West Virginia, a new survey from Public Policy Polling shows Democrats with an edge in this year’s gubernatorial race, with Earl Ray Tomblin (D) in the strongest position.

* Rep. Heath Shuler, a Blue Dog Dem from North Carolina, will face Councilman Cecil Bothwell in a Democratic primary next year.

* It’s challenging enough for Massachusetts Dems to make the case against Sen. Scott Brown (R), given his support in the polls. Why Rep. Richard Neal (D) is helping Brown by calling the senator’s independence “very impressive” is a mystery to me.

* Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), an apparent presidential candidate, traveled to New Hampshire yesterday and questioned a possible rival’s fealty to the GOP. “I’ve come to New Hampshire today because I’m very concerned,” Paul said. “I want to see the original long-form certificate of Donald Trump’s Republican registration.”

* New polls out of Pennsylvania and Nevada show President Obama struggling. The president won both states in 2008 and will need to improve his standing in both to win re-election.

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.