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:

* With the Ames Straw Poll coming up a week from Saturday, Tim Pawlenty’s campaign has decided to pull its media advertising in the 72 hours running up to the event. The former Minnesota governor had reserved $200,000 for spots, but will now focus on GOTV efforts instead.

* Speaking of Pawlenty, Al Hubbard, a former Bush administration official who’d signed on as Pawlenty’s leading policy advisor, has quit the campaign.

* With Republicans increasingly pessimistic about the Wisconsin recall elections, RNC chairman Reince Priebus, who arrived in DC by way of Wisconsin, is downplaying the races’ significance. “The localized nature of it doesn’t allow it to be analogous to the 2012 election,” he said yesterday.

* George W. Bush had a formidable fundraising network that financed his two national campaigns. Three years later, members of that network have not yet rallied behind any of the 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls.

* Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman’s (R) campaign is reportedly burdened by a “blistering internal feud,” which is “erupting into public view, with dueling camps trading charges and an exodus of campaign officials.”

* In Florida, a new Quinnipiac poll shows President Obama leading all of the GOP presidential candidates, except Mitt Romney, who is tied with the president at 44% each.

* In Wisconsin, former governor and Bush cabinet secretary Tommy Thompson hasn’t officially launched a U.S. Senate bid, but yesterday, he didn’t leave many doubts about his intentions. “You can’t take over the Senate without having a Republican senator from Wisconsin. Who is the strongest candidate to win that seat?” Thompson said. “I believe it’s myself.”

* And in Michigan, former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R) is the heavy favorite to win the GOP’s U.S. Senate nomination, but he will have at least one primary opponent. Yesterday, Gary Glenn, the head of the state’s American Family Association, kicked off his Senate bid.

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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.