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Wednesday's Campaign Round-Up, 12.17.14

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:
* In the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Hillary Clinton leads each of her likely Republican opponents by double digits in hypothetical 2016 matchups.
* In related news, the former Secretary of State also strongly condemned torture yesterday after receiving the "Ripple of Hope" award from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.
* Within hours of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) moving forward with his presidential plans, Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) team took out Google ads against the likely rival: "'Join a movement working to shrink government. Not grow it,' the ad states, with a link to RandPAC, Paul's longstanding federal leadership committee, and a page asking supporters to give their email address and zip code to 'Stand With Rand.'"
* Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who has made no secret of his interest in the 2016 race, is reportedly unfazed by Bush's announcement. A top Rubio aide said his decision will not be based on "who else might be running."
* Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), also reportedly interested in the 2016 race, was in Iowa yesterday, making the case that his progressive vision appeals to the American mainstream. "It's not a left-wing agenda," the Vermonter said.
* And speaking of Iowa, Gov. Terry Branstad (R) apparently wants to do away with the Ames Straw Poll, held every four years, about five months before the presidential caucuses. State Republican leaders, however, hope to keep the tradition, started in 1979, alive a little longer.
* Though his odds of success appear poor, former New York Gov. George Pataki (R) said this week he is "very seriously" considering a presidential campaign. "I have no doubt in my mind that I have the ability to run this country well," he said.
* And in Wisconsin, Rep. Gwen Moore (D) said this week that if former Sen. Russ Feingold (D) seeks a rematch against Sen. Ron Johnson (R) in 2016, she believes "no one would primary him."