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Wednesday'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:

* Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) believes the Ames Straw Poll has "outlived its usefulness" and should be scrapped. The Republican practice began in 1979, and was most recently won by Michele Bachmann, who finished sixth in the Iowa caucuses a few months later.

* In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a new Rutgers-Eagleton poll in New Jersey shows Gov. Chris Christie's (R) approval rating reaching 67%, suggesting the Republican base and Garden State mainstream are not exactly on the same page.

* Speaking of New Jersey, the same poll shows President Obama with a 61% favorable/32% unfavorable rating in the state.

* Though not yet official, it looks all but certain that Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin will be the next chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, taking the reins from Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (thanks to E.B. for the tip).

* Though just about every U.S. House race has been called, in North Carolina, Republican David Rouzer now wants a recount after apparently losing to Rep. Mike McIntyre (D).

* Who was the Republican presidential candidate the Obama campaign feared most? Jon Huntsman.

* In Ohio, might former Gov. Ted Strickland (D) seek a rematch against Gov. John Kasich (R) in 2014? He hasn't ruled it out.

* And in Illinois, Rep. Joe Walsh (R) may try to parlay his one unsuccessful term in Congress into a gubernatorial campaign. No, I don't understand it, either.