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 Iowa, yet another poll, this one from Mason-Dixon, shows Michele Bachmann leading the GOP presidential field with 32% support. Mitt Romney is close behind with 29%, but the right-wing Minnesotan is the one with all the momentum.

* As Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) continues to ponder his presidential plans, his close ties to Confederate groups are drawing new scrutiny.

* Republican presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty is investing considerable energy in convincing GOP voters that his Christian faith is at the center of his entire political worldview.

* As it turns out, Pawlenty launched his overtly-Christian push the same day as he “respectfully” declined to endorse the Family Leader’s right-wing “Marriage Vow” pledge.

* Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain also rejected the pledge, arguing that his state platform already “encompasses their values without the need to sign the pledge.”

* On a related note, Michele Bachmann, who did sign the document, is now claiming she only endorsed part of the radical pledge. (Isn’t there a Commandment against lying?)

* Among Utah Republicans, Mitt Romney leads Jon Huntsman by a whopping 53 points in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. Huntsman, of course, was elected governor of Utah twice.

* On a related note, the same poll, released yesterday by Public Policy Polling, shows Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) trailing his likely primary challenger, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, 47% to 43%.

* As the recall process gets underway in Wisconsin, a new statewide poll shows Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) approval rating dropping to just 37%.

* And on Fox News last night, former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin suggested she’d have to make up her mind about the presidential race no later than September.

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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.