Tuesday’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:

* Newt Gingrich endorsed the so-called marriage pledge yesterday, put together by a prominent, right-wing Iowa group, the FAMiLY Leader. Among other things, the pledge demands “personal fidelity to my spouse,” which makes Gingrich’s endorsement rather amusing.

* Jon Huntsman, addressing rumors once again, said yesterday, “I’m not running as an independent. I don’t know how many times I have to say that…. I’ve been a lifelong Republican. I expect to be the nominee.” He did not explicitly address his future plans.

* A new USA Today/Gallup Swing States Poll shows President Obama trailing both Gingrich and Mitt Romney, thanks in part to a partisan enthusiasm gap.

* Rudy Giuliani told CNN that Gingrich, not Romney, “might actually be the stronger candidate” in a general election. The more this belief takes root, the bigger a problem it will be for Romney.

* In Michigan, one poll of Republican voters shows Gingrich up by two points over Romney, while another shows Romney up by 15 over Gingrich.

* In Ohio, it looks House Speaker John Boehner (R) worked behind the scenes to rig the state’s map and give Republicans an advantage in 12 of the state’s 16 congressional districts, even though Dems and Republicans are fairly well divided in Ohio.

* In North Carolina, Public Policy Polling shows Gov. Bev Perdue’s (D) approval rating down to 37%, and she trails Republican Republican Pat McCrory by 10 points in a hypothetical match-up.

* And apparently hoping to scare Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) into retirement, Karl Rove’s attack operation, Crossroads GPS, has bought a significant amount of airtime in Nebraska’s two largest media markets, exclusively for the Republicans’ smear operation. Nelson has not yet announced his 2012 plans.

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Steve Benen

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.