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:

* Tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern, several Republican presidential candidates will gather in New Hampshire for the largest GOP debate thus far in the cycle. Sharing the stage will be Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, and Ron Paul.

* On a related note, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (R) wants to participate, but CNN won’t let him, because he has too little support. Johnson considers the network “really elitist.”

* A new national CNN poll shows Romney as the favorite for the GOP nomination, leading the pack with 24% support. Sarah Palin is second in the poll with 20%.

* Jon Huntsman’s campaign aides told reporters last week that that FedEx founder Frederick W. Smith had agreed last week to support Huntsman. Huntsman’s staff apparently wasn’t telling the truth.

* Huntsman, by the way, will apparently kick off his campaign sometime next week, and won’t be on hand for tonight’s debate.

* Pawlenty yesterday referred to the Affordable Care Act as “Obamneycare.” I suspect it’s not the last time we’ll heard the word.

* In North Carolina, a new survey from Public Policy Polling shows President Obama with narrow leads over his top Republican rivals.

* On a related note, PPP also found Obama trailing Mitt Romney in South Carolina by nine points, though the president actually fares rather well against other GOP candidates, at least at this point.

* And in Michigan, the Republican efforts to recruit a top-tier Senate candidate continue to come up short. Yesterday, Republican National Committeeman Saul Anuzis announced he’s not going to run, either, citing financial difficulties.

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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.