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:

* His poll support notwithstanding, Newt Gingrich is still scrambling to qualify for the Republican primary ballot in key states like Virginia. This is what a poor campaign organization looks like.

* The latest Reuters national poll shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney by eight (48% to 40%) and Gingrich by 13 (51% to 38%).

* An AP poll released last week found Obama’s approval rating among self-identified independents down to just 38%. Indy voters nevertheless prefer the president to Romney, 45% to 41%.

* Andrew Kaczynski’s latest find is a 1994 video of then-Senate candidate Romney explaining his support for strict campaign spending limits and the complete elimination of political action committees. As you might have guessed, Romney no longer holds these positions.

* As the GOP establishment continues to coalesce behind Romney, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.) has thrown his support to the former governor.

* Ron Paul believes Michele Bachmann hates Muslims. The right-wing Minnesotan denies it.

* South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) is rumored to be a possible VP candidate in 2012, despite only having been in office for less than a year. Yesterday, the governor said she is “absolutely not” considering a spot on her party’s presidential ticket.

* Democrats were delighted to recruit retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez to run for the U.S. Senate in Texas earlier this year, but he turned out to be a rather poor candidate. Friday, Sanchez quit the race, leaving Dems without a candidate a month from the filing deadline.

* And Gallup found last week that 70% of Americans already can’t wait for the 2012 presidential campaign to be over. It’s going to be a long 11 months.

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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.