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 new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Mitt Romney narrowly leading Herman Cain in the race for the Republican nomination, 28% to 27%. Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and Ron Paul are barely in double digits.

* The same poll shows President Obama leading a generic Republican by three points, Romney by six points, and Herman Cain by 15 points.

* A growing number of Republicans who “have otherwise been sympathetic” to Cain are urging him to address the sexual-harassment allegations “clearly and forthrightly.” Cain has scheduled a press conference for this afternoon.

* The Perry campaign is increasingly focused on the Iowa caucuses, to be held eight weeks from today. The Texas governor’s team, for example, is investing over $550,000 in television ads over a two-week span.

* Michele Bachmann, who’s still running for president, yesterday said the Republican presidential candidates who aren’t as conservative as she is should be considered “frugal socialists.”

* To the delight of the DSCC, former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp officially kicked off her U.S. Senate campaign this morning. Heitkamp hopes to replace retiring Sen. Kent Conrad (D), who urged her to run.

* In Texas, state Railroad Commission Chair Elizabeth Ames Jones has ended her U.S. Senate campaign, due in large part to weak fundraising. She will instead run for the state Senate.

* In California, Rep. Devin Nunes (R) briefly floated the notion yesterday that he might run against Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) next year, but his chief of staff quickly pulled the congressman back, declaring, “Devin is running for the U.S. House of Representatives, period. He’s not running for the Senate.”

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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.