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.

* As expected, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink (D) announced yesterday that she is running for governor next year, in what will be an open-seat contest. Sink, initially recruited for the Senate campaign, will likely avoid a major primary challenge.

* It’s long been assumed that former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie would win the Republicans’ gubernatorial primary in New Jersey without too much trouble, and stood a pretty good chance of winning the general election in November. But a Rasmussen poll yesterday showed Christie leading his even-further-right primary challenger, former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, by just 10 points, 39% to 29%.

* In New York, Gov. David Paterson (D) continues to struggle in statewide polls. A new Quinnipiac poll shows the governor’s approval rating at just 28%. He would lose badly in a primary match-up against state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo or in a general election match-up against Rudy Giuliani.

* In New Hampshire, a new Dartmouth University poll shows Rep. Paul Hodes (D) with narrow leads over his most likely Republican opponents in next year’s Senate race. The poll found former Sen. John Sununu (R) trailing Hodes by three points, and former Rep. Charles Bass trailing Hodes by just one point.

* With Republicans unable, so far, to recruit a mainstream Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, some GOP leaders are slowly throwing their support to former Rep. Pat Toomey. Today, Rep. Charlie Dent (R) endorsed Toomey’s campaign.

* Rep. Mary Fallin (R) appears to be the frontrunner in Oklahoma’s gubernatorial race, but a new poll shows former Rep. Rep. J.C. Watts (R-Okla.) giving Fallin a run for her money, should he get into the race.

* And in 2012 news, it looks like Sen. John Ensign (R) of Nevada is mulling a presidential campaign, and is spending some time in Iowa early next month.