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.

* A new Quinnipiac poll out of Pennsylvania shows Arlen Specter leading Pat Toomey in a hypothetical general-election match-up by nine points, 46% to 37%, which is a significantly closer race than a Quinnipiac poll taken earlier in the month.

* The same poll shows Specter leading Joe Sestak in a Democratic primary match-up, 50% to 21%.

* In a signal of where Florida’s Senate race is headed, the Club for Growth went after Charlie Crist (R) yesterday for being insufficiently conservative on taxes.

* Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told reporters yesterday that he will not support Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) next year, should Burris seek a full term.

* Given recent revelations, Burris would be wise to gracefully retire, rather than seek a full term of his own.

* With state Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) passing on the Senate race next year, Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) is reportedly giving the race another look.

* Ethan Berkowitz (D), who nearly defeated Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) last year, now intends to run against Gov. Sarah Palin in 2010, if she seeks a second term.

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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.