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Thursday's Campaign Round-Up, 3.12.15

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:
* The Ames Straw Poll will happen this year, but for the first time, it won't be in Ames. The Iowa Republican Party announced this morning that the straw poll will instead be held in Boone on Aug. 8. Less clear are which GOP candidates will choose to compete in the contest.
* Speaking of Iowa, a senior adviser on Jeb Bush's team is already managing expectations. "If we lose Iowa, we're fine," the unnamed staffers said yesterday. "If [Scott Walker] loses Iowa, he's done."
* And speaking of Jeb Bush, as the former governor continues to move closer to his presidential campaign, he's ending his private-sector dealings. This week, the shift includes "selling ownership stakes in Jeb Bush & Associates ... and in Britton Hill Partnership, a business advisory group that in 2013 set up private-equity funds investing in energy and aviation."
* Kentucky is one of three states holding gubernatorial elections this year, and according to SurveyUSA, state Attorney General Jack Conway (D) is the early favorite. In hypothetical general election match-ups, Conway leads each of his likely Republican challengers by margins ranging from 2 to 19 points.
* In Wisconsin, the latest PPP survey shows former Sen. Russ Feingold (D) well positioned in his likely rematch against incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson (R), with the Democrat leading, 50% to 41%.
* As if the race for the Democratic nomination in the Maryland Senate race weren't competitive enough already, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) is reportedly "on the verge" of kicking off his own campaign.
* Over the last nine years, Florida's Charlie Crist has run for governor twice and the U.S. Senate once, but with Sen. Marco Rubio (R) likely to give up his seat, Crist is considering another statewide race in 2016.
* And Texas won't hold its presidential primary until next March, but Rand Paul is already opening his first field office in the Lone Star State this week.