Wednesday’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:

* Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry, according to the latest survey from Public Policy Polling, isn’t terribly popular in his home state of Texas, where he has a 45% approval rating. In a hypothetical match-up against President Obama, Perry is only ahead in Texas by seven points, 51% to 44%.

* Speaking of Perry, as part of an effort to connect with the Republican Party’s leading powerbrokers, the Texas governor spent Monday night dining with Fox News chief Rupert Murdoch.

* Though it’s not yet clear what Pennsylvania will do with its electoral votes next year, the latest Magellan Strategies poll in the Keystone State shows Obama leading both Romney and Perry in head-to-head contests by double digits.

* Rick Santorum has reached out to Google so that searches for his name will produce less sexually-graphic results. Google said it can’t help the former senator, prompting Santorum to accuse the company of political bias.

* In Connecticut, former wrestling company executive Linda McMahon is launching her second U.S. Senate campaign today, after a failed bid just last year.

* Remember those overwrought, needlessly-dramatic videos Tim Pawlenty’s campaign used to release? It turns out, the guy responsible has joined the Perry campaign, which is now releasing overwrought, needlessly-dramatic videos of its own.

* Tomorrow night’s GOP debate in Orlando will have nine candidates instead of eight: former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (R) has managed to get an invitation.

* And disgraced former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who apparently hasn’t dropped his presidential campaign yet, will release a new “Contract with America,” which he’s promised will be “very visionary.”

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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.