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 Virginia, one of the key 2012 battleground states, a new Quinnipiac poll shows a very close U.S. Senate race, with former Gov. Tim Kaine (D) leading former Sen. George Allen (R), 43% to 42%. On President Obama, the same poll shows Virginians split on a second term, 47% to 47%.

* A McClatchy-Marist poll of self-identified Tea Party supporters found the activists backing Texas Gov. Rick Perry as their favorite presidential candidate. Mitt Romney was a close second, followed by Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.

* Speaking of Perry, he appears to be struggling with his own constituents. The latest survey from Public Policy Polling shows the three-term governor trailing President Obama — that’s right, in Texas — 47% to 45% in a hypothetical match-up.

* In nearby New Mexico, PPP found Obama leading all of his GOP challengers by margins ranging from seven points (vs. Romney) to 20 points (vs. Palin).

* We Are Ohio needed to submit 231,000 valid signatures to force a ballot referendum on SB5, the state’s new anti-union measure. The progressive coalition delivered nearly 1.3 million signatures to the secretary of state’s office yesterday.

* It appears that Club for Growth and Jon Huntsman are feuding. This probably won’t end well for Huntsman.

* In New Jersey, Republicans hoped to recruit businessman John Crowley to run against Sen. Bob Menendez (D) next year. Crowley announced yesterday he’s passing on the race.

* In Florida, PPP’s new poll shows Sen. Bill Nelson (D) leading his GOP challengers by about 11 points.

* In New Mexico, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D) is retiring, but PPP found the Democratic candidates favored to keep his seat “blue,” leading the Republican candidates in hypothetical match-ups.

* And in North Carolina, Blue Dog Rep. Heath Shuler (D) is reportedly considering retirement in order to become the new Athletic Director for his alma mater, the University of Tennessee. When asked about the possibility, Shuler’s spokesperson didn’t make much of an effort to deny the reports.