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 the latest national Washington Post/ABC News poll of Republican primary voters, Rick Perry leads Mitt Romney, 27% to 22%. If Sarah Palin’s name is left out, Perry’s lead is 29% to 25%.

* Speaking of Perry, he suggested the other day that he might skip tonight’s debate in California. As of late yesterday, the Perry campaign said the Texas governor plans to be there. It will be his first debate as an announced presidential candidate.

* Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul has launched his first television ad of the cycle, using it to attack Perry for being a Democrat in the 1980s and supporting Al Gore in 1988. That same year, Ron Paul left the Republican Party altogether to run as a Libertarian campaign for president.

* In California, the latest Los Angeles Times poll shows President Obama leading all of his GOP rivals by wide margins, despite a lower presidential approval rating.

* In this year’s gubernatorial race in West Virginia, a new survey from Public Policy Polling shows an increasingly-competitive contest. Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s (D) lead has slipped to just six points over Bill Maloney (R), 46% to 40%.

* It’s hard to believe anyone really cared, but former United Nations ambassador John Bolton announced on Fox News last night that he will not be a presidential candidate in 2012.

* Much to the relief of state Democrats, Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock (D) officially kicked off his gubernatorial campaign this morning. If he wins the Democratic nomination, as appears likely, Bullock will likely face former Rep. Rick Hill (R) next November.

* Following the redistricting process in Illinois, it looks like Reps. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) and Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) will face off next year against one another in a Republican primary.

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.