Monday’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 poll out this morning from University of Iowa shows Newt Gingrich continuing to lead the Republican presidential field in the first caucus state. Gingrich is out in front with 30%, followed by Mitt Romney at 20%, and Ron Paul with 11%.

* In South Carolina, an NBC News-Marist poll released yesterday found Gingrich leading Romney by 19 points, 42% to 23%.

* In Florida, the same NBC News-Marist poll shows Gingrich leading Romney by a similar margin, 44% to 29%.

* In perhaps the most striking aspect of that NBC News-Marist poll, President Obama is ahead of both of the leading Republican candidates in Florida and South Carolina. Keep in mind, South Carolina is often considered one of the most consistently “red” states in the country.

* In Florida, Gingrich has hired Jose Mallea, Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R) former campaign manager, to help stay on top in the Sunshine State.

* White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked the other day about Rick Perry’s “war on religion” allegations. Carney responded, “I’m going to limit my comments on the struggling state of some campaigns.” Ouch.

* Jon Huntsman’s troubles are intensifying, with his former campaign manager jumping to Team Romney, and a high-profile New Hampshire supporter jumping to Team Gingrich.

* Huntsman and Gingrich will, by the way, meet in New Hampshire for a Lincoln-Douglas-style debate on foreign policy and national security.

* Texas’ redrawn congressional-district lines are on hold now that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to the new map.

* And in Massachusetts, state Rep. Thomas Conroy is ending his Democratic U.S. Senate campaign, clearing the way for Elizabeth Warren’s nomination.

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