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 U.S. Chamber of Commerce is getting its attack operation underway, launching ads going after Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Jon Tester of Montana.

* The latest national poll from Public Policy Polling shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney by three points. A month ago, PPP found the two tied.

* In a survey that’s very hard to believe, the new McClatchy-Marist poll found Obama leading all of his Republican challengers in hypothetical match-ups, but Newt Gingrich came closer than Romney.

* In New Hampshire, Romney continues to enjoy big leads over his GOP rivals. He tops the field with 40% support, 23 points higher than his next closest competitor, Ron Paul.

* On a related note, the same poll suggests New Hampshire is the most likely state to flip from “blue” to “red” in 2012 — Romney has a 10-point lead over the president in the Granite State.

* Hoping to explain his routine ignorance on nearly every issue, Herman Cain told reporters yesterday he reads “newspaper publications … some of the stuff on the Web … [and] some of the special bulletins that I get from the Republican National Committee.”

* In New Jersey, Quinnipiac shows Romney leading the Republican field with 29% support, followed by Gingrich at 22%.

* The same Quinnipiac poll shows President Obama with big leads over all of his Republican challengers in New Jersey, including a nine-point lead over Romney.

* Herman Cain said this week that he invited Henry Kissinger to be the Secretary of State in his administration, but Kissinger “turned my offer down.” Though Cain appeared to be serious, his aides later said the candidate was kidding.

* In California, Public Policy Polling shows Gingrich with a double-digit lead over Romney in the race for the Republican nomination, 33% to 23%.

* And the SEIU got an early start on the 2012 race, announcing this morning that it is endorsing President Obama’s re-election campaign.

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.