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:

* Iowa will host a debate tonight for the Republican presidential field. It will be the first debate to feature all eight of the announced candidates, though Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), who has not formally made his intentions clear, will not participate.

* On a related note, Perry sounded very much like a candidate in an interview with Mark Halperin, explaining, “[T]his is starting to get to that comfort level and I’ve got the calmness in my heart. I think that was a bit of a hurdle initially, but I’m very calm in my heart that this is what I’m supposed to be doing.”

* Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has raised more campaign money from lobbyists and lobbyist-linked political action committees than all of his GOP rivals combined.

* Gallup’s latest poll shows President Obama leading a generic Republican challenger by six points, 45% to 39%. In July, Obama trailed the generic GOP candidate, 47% to 39%,

* Against named GOP rivals, the latest McClatchy-Marist Poll shows the president leading all of the top Republican candidates, in margins ranging from five points (vs. Romney) to 21 points (vs. Palin).

* A new CNN poll shows a more competitive general election, with Obama’s leads over the GOP field raging from one point (vs. Romney) to six points (vs. Bachmann).

* Though coming up short in the effort to flip the state Senate, progressives in Wisconsin will continue their recall initiative targeting Gov. Scott Walker (R).

* In Nevada, wealthy Las Vegas attorney Byron Georgiou ended his U.S. Senate campaign, clearing the way for seven-term Rep. Shelley Berkley to run unopposed for the Democratic nomination. Berkley is challenging appointed Sen. Dean Heller (R).

* In New Hampshire, former Rep. Carol Shea Porter (D) is gearing up for a rematch against Rep. Frank Guinta (R), but first the Democratic will face a primary challenge from car dealer Andrew Hosmer.

* And just in time to create another circus atmosphere, former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) will travel to Iowa this weekend, attending the Iowa State Fair the same weekend as the Ames Straw Poll.