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:

* The latest debate for the Republican presidential candidates is tonight in Orlando.

* Mitt Romney has a huge lead in New Hampshire’s Republican presidential primary, leading the GOP field with 41% support in a new Suffolk poll. Rick Perry, the national frontrunner, is running fourth in the Granite State, according to this poll.

* In Florida, a new Quinnipiac poll offers better news for the Texas governor. Perry leads Romney in the Sunshine State, 31% to 22%. No other candidate is in double digits.

* On a related note, after Romney went after Perry again on Social Security with voters in Florida, Perry’s spokesperson replied, “As he has so many times in the past, Mr. Romney seems to forget he’s a Republican.” Ouch.

* House Dems may have won the money race in August, but their Senate counterparts did not. The National Republican Senatorial Committee outraised the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee last month, $2.96 million to $2.5 million.

* As if the RNC didn’t have enough trouble with its nominating calendar, Michigan is moving forward with plans to hold its presidential primary on Feb. 28, in violation of party rules.

* Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman has begun laying off staff, and has asked consultants to work without pay for much of the summer. That’s generally not a good sign.

* The top tier continue to pick up endorsements — Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is now backing Romney, while Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) is supporting Perry.

* Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann is apparently opposed to the Arab Spring, and criticized President Obama for allowing the Mubarak government to fall in Egypt.

* And in Illinois, thanks to redistricting, Reps. Joe Walsh (R) and Randy Hultgren (R) will face off against one another next year in a GOP primary.

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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.