Friday’s campaign round-up

FRIDAY’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.

* How much trouble is Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) in next year? A new Rasmussen poll shows him trailing his Republican primary opponent, former Rep. Pat Toomey, by 21 points, 51% to 30%.

* There are rumors out of New York’s 20th that Republican Jim Tedisco may concede the race this afternoon.

* Under an “expedited” schedule, the Minnesota Supreme Court will begin hearing former Sen. Norm Coleman’s (R) appeal on June 1.

* On a related note, two of the Minnesota Supreme Court’s seven justices have recused themselves from the case. One of the remaining five, Justice Christopher Dietzen, is a Coleman donor, who apparently intends, at least for now, to hear the case.

* Research 2000’s latest poll for Daily Kos shows Republicans strongly favored to keep the governor’s mansion in Texas, while the Senate race is far more competitive.

* I’m starting to think former President Bill Clinton is a big fan of Florida Senate candidate Kendrick Meek (D).

* In New Jersey, Republican gubernatorial hopeful Chris Christie, a former U.S. attorney in the Bush administration, apparently used his office to track U.S. citizens, without warrants, through their cell phones.

* Former Commerce Secretary Bill Daley will not run for the Senate in Illinois next year.

* A long-shot Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, Republican Larry Murphy, probably won’t apologize for this one: “Rush Limbaugh is a racist, he’s a cancer to the Republican Party and he should be excised.”

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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.