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, a brand new survey from Public Policy Polling shows Rick Perry leading the Republican presidential field with 22% with Mitt Romney second with 19%. Michele Bachmann, thought to be the Iowa frontrunner, is now a close third with 18%.

* The DNC has produced a new 30-second spot made up entirely of Jon Huntsman’s criticisms of his fellow Republican presidential candidates.

* In a bit of a surprise, Rep. Jason Chaffetz announced yesterday he will not take on Sen. Orrin Hatch in a Republican primary in Utah next year. Whether Hatch may face a different primary challenger remains unclear.

* Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R) American Principles Project will host a forum for GOP presidential candidates in South Carolina in a couple of weeks. Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman aren’t invited because they’re too far down in the polls.

* MassUniting, a labor-backed coalition in Massachusetts, has a good new ad out, going after Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) as “Bobble Head Brown” for the frequency with which he goes along with the Republican agenda.

* Former Rep. Christopher Shays (R), who lost his re-election bid three years ago, will run for the Senate in Connecticut next year. After moving back to the state — Shays relocated to Maryland after losing — he’ll likely face a crowded primary.

* Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) announced yesterday he will not run for the U.S. Senate next year.

* In Michigan, a new EPIC-MRA poll shows Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) leading former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R), 47% to 38%. The nine-point lead is significantly higher than the two-point lead she had a few months ago.

* Mississippi will hold its Democratic gubernatorial runoff today, putting Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree against businessman Bill Luckett. The winner will face Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant (R) in November.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. 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.