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:

* Former President George H. W. Bush informally threw his support to Mitt Romney yesterday, saying the former governor is “not a bomb-thrower,” and is “the best choice” for Republicans.

* Newt Gingrich has repeatedly challenged Romney to a one-on-one debate. Yesterday, Romney told the AP this isn’t going to happen.

* In Virginia, Romney, Gingrich, Rick Perry, and Ron Paul qualified for the state’s March 6 primary ballot. Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Jon Huntsman did not.

* Not surprisingly, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) told Fox News yesterday he’s not ruling out running as vice president on his party’s 2012 ticket. Christie is a leading surrogate for the Romney campaign.

* In Iowa, right-wing leader Bob Vander Plaats is facing allegations that he offered to sell his presidential endorsement. The head of the FAMiLY LEADER denies any corruption, and announced his support for Santorum earlier this week.

* In Ohio, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) has attracted so much Republican attention, outside far-right groups have already spent nearly $2.9 million to try to destroy his re-election bid. To date, outside progressive groups have not yet spent a penny to bolster Brown’s chances.

* In Nevada, a new poll conducted for the Las Vegas Review-Journal shows Rep. Shelley Berkley (D) narrowly leading appointed Sen. Dean Heller (R), 44% to 43%.

* And in Alabama, don’t be too surprised if Rep. Spencer Bachus (R), who’s had a very bad year, faces a Republican primary challenger.

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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.