Wednesday’s campaign round-up

WEDNESDAY’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:

* Jon Huntsman, the Obama administration’s former ambassador to China, took his first step toward a Republican presidential campaign yesterday, creating a political action committee that will allow him to travel and raise money.

* Huntsman quickly drew praise from former President Jimmy Carter (D), which probably won’t help his GOP bid.

* Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) has not yet decided whether he’ll run for president, but he’s solicited advice from George W. Bush.

* Mitt Romney’s Republican presidential campaign enjoys big leads in New Hampshire primary polls, but in an ominous development, Bruce Keough, the 2008 chairman of Romney’s New Hampshire campaign, has announced he won’t support the former Massachusetts governor again.

* Rick Santorum created a presidential exploratory committee yesterday, moving his all-but announced campaign one step forward.

* Former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) shook up her foreign policy team yesterday, replacing Randy Scheunemann with Hoover Institution fellow Peter Schweizer. It remains unclear why Palin has a foreign policy team.

* It seems unlikely she’ll be physically able to run for the seat, but Public Policy Polling found that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) would lead Rep. Jeff Flake (R) in next year’s Senate race in Arizona, 48% to 41%.

* In a clever move, Democrat Darren Spellman attended a town-hall meeting hosted by Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), and announced his campaign against the congressman.

* State House races generally don’t garner national attention, but Democrats won a seat in Wisconsin yesterday that had been held by Republicans for many years. The campaign focused largely on Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) anti-union agenda, and Wisconsin Dems hope to duplicate the success in the upcoming recall elections.

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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.