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:

* One of the conservative economists who helped craft Herman Cain’s controversial “9-9-9” tax plan said yesterday the Republican candidate should scrap the provision calling for a 9% sales tax.

* In South Carolina, a new NBC News/Marist poll shows Cain leading the Republican field with 30% support. Mitt Romney is second with 26%, and no other candidate is in double digits.

* In Florida, NBC News/Marist poll also found Cain ahead, but by the narrowest of margins, besting Romney, 32% to 31%.

* On a related note, the same poll found President Obama leading each of the top GOP candidates in Florida, though the president’s margin over Romney is just two points, 45% to 43%.

* Cain said yesterday he would consider negotiating with al Qaeda. Last night, he reversed course, saying “Maybe I didn’t understand the question…. I misspoke.”

* Under pressure from New Hampshire and several Republican candidates, would Nevada consider moving its caucus date later than Jan. 14? The door appears to be open just a crack.

* I wouldn’t ordinarily care that Romney is spending a bundle on traveling by way of private jets, were it not for the fact that he made such a fuss over telling the world that he flies commercial.

* In Wisconsin, former Sen. Russ Feingold (D) is throwing his support to Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) in next year’s open-seat contest. He encouraged progressives to donate to her to fight back against “Karl Rove, the Koch brothers, and big corporations.”

* And speaking of Wisconsin, although former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) has already filed the paperwork on his Senate campaign, he refuses to publicly acknowledge his candidacy until the Spring. I’m not sure why.

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.