Wednesday’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 new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Mitt Romney leading the Republican presidential field nationally, but his lead is hardly insurmountable. Romney is first with 30% support, followed by Michele Bachmann who is coming on strong with 16%, and Rick Perry is third with 11%. No other candidate is in double digits, though I’d note that Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman are tied for eighth with 2% each.

* The first state Senate recall race in Wisconsin went as expected, with Democratic incumbent Dave Hansen easily defeating his scandal-plagued GOP challenger, David VanderLeest, by 32 points.

* In April, former representative and failed gubernatorial candidate Pete Hoekstra (R) announced he would not run for the U.S. Senate in 2012. This morning, he changed his mind, and launched a challenge against incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D).

* Through the 2008 race, all major-party candidates have disclosed the names of those bundling tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars on their behalf. This year, President Obama continues to do so, but every major Republican candidate refuses to make the disclosures.

* In Texas, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, as expected, launched a U.S. Senate campaign yesterday. He joins a crowded Republican field for the open seat, but early polling shows Dewhurst is arguably the frontrunner.

* In Ohio, Gov. John Kasich’s (R) approval rating is down to just 35% in a new Quinnipiac poll. (thanks to L.M. for the tip)

* In New Jersey, a new survey from Public Policy Polling shows Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) approval rating dropping to 43%, while 53% disapprove.

* Michele Bachmann’s new campaign ad in Iowa seems to position her as the most enthusiastic advocate of national default among the national candidates.

* An aide to Elizabeth Warren conceded yesterday the Harvard Law School professor and consumer advocate “will spend early August assessing” whether to run for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts next year.