Friday’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:

* A new national poll from McClatchy/Marist shows Mitt Romney leading the Republican field with 23% support, followed by Newt Gingrich in second with 19%, and Herman Cain third with 17%. I guess Gingrich’s surge is legit, for now.

* In Virginia’s undecided state Senate race, the Democrat has conceded. The chamber will officially be split 20-20, but with a Republican lieutenant governor, the GOP is effectively in control.

* In Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren isn’t backing down in the face of attacks from Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS.

* Rick Perry was in damage-control mode yesterday, appearing just about everywhere, including reading an amusing top 10 list on David Letterman last night.

* Removing all doubts about the campaign’s intentions, the Romney team is getting ready to buy TV airtime in Iowa.

* To the delight of the DSCC, former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona is launching a Democratic U.S. Senate campaign in Arizona, hoping to replace retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R). Republicans are almost certain to nominate Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) in the race.

* In Florida, Rep. Connie Mack IV (R) has jumped out in front of the Republican field in next year’s U.S. Senate race in a new Quinnipiac poll. The same survey shows incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D) narrowly leading Mack in a hypothetical match-up, 42% to 40%.

* In Wisconsin, former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) has traditionally been quite sensible on stem-cell policy. Now, however, he’s running in a GOP Senate primary, so Thompson has moved sharply to the right on the issue.

* In Connecticut, former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker was thinking about running for the Senate as a Republican, but he passed on the race yesterday. The GOP primary will instead feature former wrestling company executive Linda McMahon and former Rep. Chris Shays.

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