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 the closely-watched U.S. Senate race in Virginia, Public Policy Polling shows former Gov. Tim Kaine (D) with a narrow lead over former Sen. George Allen (R), 46% to 44%. A Washington Post poll last week showed a similar margin.

* With Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) inching closer to a presidential run, his messy marriage is drawing new scrutiny. Daniels’ wife, Cheri, left the governor for another man in the 1990s, leaving Mitch Daniels to raise their kids alone. She later remarried Mitch Daniels, but wouldn’t campaign for him, and did not move into the governor’s mansion after his election. Cheri Daniels is scheduled to deliver her first political speech ever today.

* In the special election in New York’s 26th, Tea Party independent Jack Davis went a little crazy yesterday, and threatened to physically attack a Republican tracker following him around with a camera.

* Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) will end the exploratory phase of his campaign this week, and formally kick off his presidential bid tomorrow. It will be his third failed national campaign.

* Newt Gingrich’s day-old presidential campaign has already picked up its first congressional endorsement — Rep. Joe Barton (R) of ExxonMobil has thrown his support to the disgraced former Speaker.

* Some GOP officials continue to pressure New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) to run for president in 2012. Asked yesterday if he’s reconsidered his decision, Christie rolled his eyes and said, “No, I’m not running for president.”

* Michigan Republicans have struggled to find a top-tier challenger for Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) in 2012, but Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R) is now reportedly thinking about it.

* And in West Virginia, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, one of the state’s most popular Republican officials, will face Jonathan Miller in a primary campaign. Miller believes “God has called” him to launch a congressional campaign.