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.

* With Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announcing yesterday that she isn’t running for the Senate, Rep. Mark Kirk (R) wasted no time in throwing his hat into the ring.

* Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (D) impressed quite a few observers yesterday when he reported having raised over $1.3 million in the second quarter for his U.S. Senate campaign. That’s not only far more than any of his competitors in either party, it’s also the best fundraising quarter for a Senate candidate in Kentucky history.

* Left with no choice, is former Rep. Pat Toomey the Republicans’ guy in Pennsylvania’s Senate race next year? Not so fast — reports suggest the NRSC is reaching out to state Sen. Jane Orie.

* Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R) may be considering Minnesota’s gubernatorial race next year, but he shouldn’t discount the damage done to his reputation during the recount ordeal. A new survey from Public Policy Polling shows Coleman’s favorable rating down to just 38%. Asked if his recount efforts make them “more or less likely” to support a Coleman gubernatorial campaign, a majority of respondents said “less likely.”

* New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D) continues to trail Chris Christie in this year’s gubernatorial campaign, but the margin is shrinking a little. Rasmussen recently showed Corzine trailing by 10, but a new poll shows Corzine down by seven.

* While Republicans ponder who might challenge Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) in a primary next year, Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet (D) continues to pick up support in advance of the 2010 race.

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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.