Wednesday’s campaign round-up

WEDNESDAY’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.

* At least for now, Arlen Specter enjoys a huge lead over potential primary challenger Joe Sestak. A Public Opinion Strategies shows the incumbent ahead, 57% to 20%, thanks at least in part to Specter’s name recognition advantage.

* With just one month to go before the Democratic gubernatorial primary, Terry McAuliffe appears to be pulling ahead. Public Policy Polling shows the former DNC chairman out in front with 30%, followed by Brian Moran at 20%, and Creigh Deeds at 14%.

* Concerned about the incumbent’s chances in November, allies of New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D) are beginning to direct their attention to the state’s Republican primary.

* A new Quinnipiac poll in Ohio shows a wide-open Senate race, though Dems appear to have the early edge. Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, both Democrats, lead Republican Rob Portman in hypothetical general-election match-ups, though polls are expected to tighten as Portman becomes better known statewide.

* In related news, the same Quinnipiac poll shows Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) leading his top Republican challenger, former Rep. John Kasich, 51% to 32%.

* Nate Silver’s recent piece comparing Joe Sestak and Arlen Specter is, according to Brendan Nyhan’s analysis, flawed.

* All of a sudden, quite a few Minnesota Democrats are anxious to take on Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) next year.

* Presumably in preparation for the 2012 presidential campaign, former John McCain aide John Weaver has signed on to advise Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R).

* The DNC is playing “Survivor” with Republican leaders, riffing off Olympia Snowe’s recent comments, in a new web ad.

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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.