Thursday’s campaign round-up

THURSDAY’S CAMPAIGN ROUND-UP….Today’s installment of campaign-related news items that wouldn’t generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers.

* Is it over in New York’s 20th? Democrat Scott Murphy now leads Republican Jim Tedisco by 167 votes. The problem for Tedisco is absentee numbers from GOP stronghold areas came in yesterday, and the Republican didn’t close the gap.

* In Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey thinks he’s a stronger general-election candidate than Sen. Arlen Specter.

* Democratic recruiting efforts paid off in Delaware yesterday, where former Lt. Gov. Jack Carney (D) announced he will take on Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) next year.

* And speaking of recruiting, Democratic leaders also convinced Florida state Sen. Charlie Justice to take on Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.).

* In more Florida-related news, Gov. Charlie Crist (R) continues to enjoy strong support in his home state, with a new Quinnipiac poll showing him with a 68% approval rating. Crist’s fiercest critics aren’t Democrats, but rather, far-right Republicans who complain he isn’t conservative enough.

* GOP leaders anxious about Sen. Jim Bunning’s (R) prospects next year in Kentucky will feel even more discouraged after looking at his first quarter fundraising totals.

* Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) got his first Republican challenger yesterday, when Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier launched an exploratory committee.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.