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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:

* In Iowa, Rep. Bruce Braley (D) has told supporters via email, "It's a big responsibility to represent the people of Iowa in the United States Senate, especially after Tom Harkin has shown us how for the last 30 years. But, if you are willing to help me, I'm ready to go." He hadn't been expected to make this announcement until summer.

* In Massachusetts, Republicans finally have an announced U.S. Senate candidate: State Rep. Dan Winslow.

* On a related note, Fox News personality Keith Ablow, who said he'd be the Massachusetts Republicans' candidate if they cleared the field of potential rivals for him, has now passed on the race and endorsed Winslow.

* In Illinois, the race to replace former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. is heating up, with Democratic U.S. Reps. Danny Davis and Bobby Rush throwing their support to Cook County Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly. The primary is two weeks from tomorrow.

* Speaking of special elections, Republicans in Missouri's 8th congressional district have nominated state Rep. Jason Smith in the race to replacing former Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, who resigned last month to become a lobbyist.

* In Alaska, the latest Public Policy Polling numbers show incumbent Sen. Mark Begich (D) in reasonably good shape a year ahead of his re-election fight, with leads ranging from 6 to 28 points against his most likely GOP challengers.

* In Pennsylvania, Democrats have hoped for a top-tier challenger to run against incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett (R), and they may have found one: U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D) is reportedly "seriously considering" next year's gubernatorial race.

* And who's the safest Senate incumbent in the 2014 cycle? That would be Rhode Island's Jack Reed (D), who has a 62% approval rating, and leads of about 30 points against possible Republican rivals.