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Thursday's campaign round-up

Associated Press

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:

* With less than two weeks remaining in Massachusetts' U.S. Senate special election, President Obama traveled to Roxbury yesterday, when he told a packed crowd, "I need Ed Markey in the United States Senate." Obama urged supported to "work with the same focus and passion" that helped him cruise to a 23-point win in the state and elected Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) in 2012.

* Rep. Markey will also benefit from a visit from former President Bill Clinton over the weekend.

* On a related note, Republican Gabriel Gomez is getting new support from a GOP super PAC, led in part by a former aide to Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign.

* In New Jersey's U.S. Senate special election, a new Monmouth poll suggests Cory Booker's Democratic primary rivals have a lot of ground to make up -- the Newark mayor leads his next closest rival by 53 points. No, that's not a typo.

* It may seem hard to believe, but in Colorado, a new Quinnipiac poll shows Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) leading former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R) by just one point, 42% to 41%, in a hypothetical 2014 match-up.

* With the NRA targeting Sen. Joe Manchin (D) in West Virginia, the Democratic senator -- a long-time ally of the group who has boasted about his A rating -- believes the NRA has "lost its way."

* Speaking of West Virginia, the National Republican Congressional Committee yesterday lost its top recruit to take on Rep. Nick Rahall (D) next year, with state Sen. Bill Cole (R) announcing he will skip the race.

* And in Georgia, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) is retiring next year, and his in-state colleague, Sen. Johnny Isakson (R), believes the eat "should" stay in Republican hands, but warned yesterday, "[T]here's a perfect storm that could happen that could make that challenging." That includes the possibility of GOP voters making "a mistake in its nominating process, as happened in a couple of states in the last cycle." (Update: corrected.)