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Tuesday's Campaign Round-Up, 12.23.14

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 guest list for the Iowa Freedom Summit, co-hosted by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Citizens United, keeps getting longer, with outgoing Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) adding his name yesterday. The event is scheduled for Jan. 24.
* The prospect of a Deep South Primary "appears increasingly likely to happen," with officials in Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas moving towards a multi-state primary on March 1, 2016. Texas and Florida are currently debating whether to join them.
* In the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, Hillary Clinton's lead over possible Democratic rivals in the 2016 presidential race is down to just 49 points. The survey shows her leading her next closest intra-party competitor, Vice President Biden, 63% to 14%.
* The Associated Press reported yesterday that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) tends to spend his nights "on the phone with some of the brightest foreign policy minds in the Republican Party," getting up to speed on foreign policy and international affairs in advance of his presidential bid.
* A conservative activist named John Philip Sousa IV is heading up a super PAC urging right-wing neurosurgeon Ben Carson to seek the Republican presidential nomination. Sousa, who's reportedly raised a stunning $12.2 million for his endeavor, told CNN he wouldn't support Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) campaign because Sousa thinks Cruz can't win a general election.
* In related news, the New York Times reports this week that strategists within the Republican establishment are concerned that Carson may "throw a wrench into the establishment's desire to unify early," and hurt the party's appeal to the mainstream "if his divisive views continue to gain traction."
* In Utah, incumbent Sen. Mike Lee (R) won't have to worry about a primary challenge from the far-right, but he's "hoping to head off a primary challenge backed by business leaders and other establishment figures in his home state." Billionaire Jon Huntsman Sr., a former Utah GOP party chairman, recently described the right-wing senator as an "embarrassment."
* And in Illinois, Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D) is rumored to be a leading potential challenger to Sen. Mark Kirk (R) in 2016, but if she doesn't run, Rep. Bill Foster (D) clearly seems to be interested.