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:

* Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman announced over the weekend he will not participate in the Iowa caucuses. Sounding very much like an announced candidate, however, the former Obama administration officials said he “will be competing” in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida.

* Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) officially kicked off his presidential campaign this morning. In 2006, in his last bid for public office, Santorum lost his re-election bid in Pennsylvania by 18 points.

* There’s ample evidence that Wisconsin Republicans have resorted to dirty tricks to delay recall elections and interfere with the process.

* Speaking of Wisconsin, it appears Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) is all but certain to run for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat next year.

* Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is reportedly growing increasingly serious about a national campaign and is “now talking about the possibility with his biggest financial backers.”

* In Iowa, the latest survey from Public Policy Polling shows President Obama leading all of his top Republican challengers by margins ranging from nine points (vs. Romney) to 21 points (vs. Gingrich).

* In Utah, Rep. Jason Chaffetz appears to be inching closer to taking on Sen. Orrin Hatch in a Republican primary. It’s one of the reasons Hatch has been moving so furiously to the GOP’s hysterical wing.

* Former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D-Texas) narrowly lost his seat to Francisco Canseco (R) last year, but will seek a rematch in 2012.

* Top VA officials and Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth (D) has ruled out seeking public office in Hawaii, where she attended high school and college. Duckworth announced that were she to run anywhere, it would be in Illinois.