Monday’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:

* The special election in New York’s 26th is tomorrow, and Republicans are starting to feel pessimistic. A Siena poll was released over the weekend showing Kathy Hochul (D) leading the race with 42% support, followed by Jane Corwin (R) at 38%, and Tea Partier Jack Davis (I) at 12%.

* On a related note, Public Policy Polling released its own survey this morning, and showed similar results. Hochul leads Corwin, 42% to 36%, with Davis a distant third with 13%.

* In case you missed it over the weekend, Mitch Daniels is officially out of the 2012 presidential race and Herman Cain is officially in.

* With Daniels passing on the race, other candidates are scrambling to recruit his backers to their campaigns.

* At a Memorial Day parade in Newton, Mass., yesterday, both Sen. Scott Brown (R) and Mayor Setti Warren (D) — who may face each other on the ballot next year — participated in the festivities. When Warren reached out to Brown to shake hands, the Republican senator waved him off and walked away.

* Herman Cain’s presidential campaign looked a little silly yesterday when the candidate struggled badly with a basic question about Israel. Cain also lectured Americans to read the Constitution, and then got confused, quoting the Declaration of Independence.

* In North Dakota, with Rep. Rick Berg (R) running for the Senate, state Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk (R) will run for Berg’s House seat.

* Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) reminded folks yesterday, “While I am flattered by everyone’s encouragement, my decision has not changed. I will not be a candidate for president in 2012.”

* And Tim Pawlenty’s hometown newspaper ran a story about his presidential campaign kickoff on the obituary page this morning. Ouch.

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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.