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Thursday's Campaign Round-Up, 1.22.15

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
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:
* A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows likely presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton (D) leading each of the top Republican contenders by healthy margins. The former Secretary of State leads Mitt Romney by 15 points, while she leads Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and Rand Paul by 13 points each. That said, polling at this early stage should definitely be taken with a grain of salt.
* A Quinnipiac poll found nearly three in five New Jersey voters do not believe Gov. Chris Christie (R) would make a good president.
* Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) hopes to build an early financial advantage in the race for the Republican nomination, and his team has set a first-quarter fundraising goal of $100 million. That also includes 60 scheduled fundraisers between now and the end of March.
* Republican operative Jesse Benton was forced to resign last year as Sen. Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) campaign manager after Benton was caught up in an Iowa bribery scandal. Now, however, the operative has a new consulting company, Titan Strategies, and has picked up Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) as a big client. Benton is a longtime insider on the Ron/Rand Paul team.
* Speaking of Jeb, the former governor will reportedly meet privately with Mitt Romney in Utah today. The meeting was apparently Bush's idea and was scheduled before Romney began openly flirting with the idea of running a third campaign of his own.
* In Ohio, Sen. Rob Portman (R) picked up his first Democratic challenger this morning, when Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld (D) kicked off his campaign. The 30-year-old local official may soon have some primary rivals -- Rep. Tim Ryan (D) has expressed an interest in the race, and former Gov. Ted Strickland's (D) plans are not yet clear.
* Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) met with his team yesterday to "map out" his likely 2016 presidential campaign. The gathering comes on the heels of a separate recent meeting organized by Foster Friess, Santorum's wealthy 2012 benefactor.
* And some of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) allies have created a new super PAC, called the Senate Leadership Fund, which intends to "impose order on the proliferation of Republican outside groups that have sprung up." Good luck with that.