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:

* Among announced GOP candidates, Gallup still shows Mitt Romney leading the Republican field nationally with 27% support. Michele Bachmann is second with 18%, followed by Ron Paul with 11%. No other candidate is in double digits.

* In Virginia, home to one of the most closely-watched Senate races in the country, the latest survey from Public Policy Polling shows former Gov. Tim Kaine (D) leading former Sen. George Allen (R), 46% to 43%.

* Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), who appears increasingly likely to run for president, told voters yesterday the world won’t “come to an end” if the United States fails to raise the debt ceiling.

* The entire Massachusetts congressional delegation appeared in a video for the “It Gets Better” campaign, except Sen. Scott Brown (R), who refused. Brown is seeking a second term next year.

* After a series of strikingly bigoted remarks directed at Muslims, Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain issued an apology to Muslim Americans yesterday. “I am truly sorry for any comments that may have betrayed my commitment to the U.S. Constitution and the freedom of religion guaranteed by it,” he said.

* Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) was rumored to be leaving Congress next year to become the next University of Tennessee athletic director, but yesterday, the Blue Dog congressman’s office ruled it out, insisting Shuler “is running for re-election.”

* Not a headline Tim Pawlenty’s campaign wants to see: “Pawlenty struggles to step out of Bachmann’s shadow.”

* Former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will speak at an Iowa Tea Party rally on Labor Day weekend, renewing speculation about her possible national ambitions.

* And despite widespread liberal antipathy towards President Obama, new polling suggests the president enjoys the strongest support among Democratic voters of any other modern Democratic president.

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