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.

* Sen. Arlen Specter has some work to do if he’s going to impress the left in advance of next year’s Democratic primary. With that in mind, Specter is thinking about attending the Netroots Nation conference in Pittsburgh next month.

* In New Hampshire, the latest Research 2000 poll for Daily Kos shows a very competitive open-seat Senate context next year. In a match-up pitting Rep. Paul Hodes (D) against former Rep. Charlie Bass (R), Hodes leads by five, 42% to 37%. In a match-up pitting Hodes against state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte (R), Ayotte leads by the slimmest of margins, 39% to 38%.

* On a related note, Ayotte may be NRSC’s favorite, but it seems very likely she’ll have at least one primary challenger.

* New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine’s (D) campaign still trails in its re-election fight, but the incumbent hopes to benefit from a rally yesterday alongside President Obama. Corzine told the crowd, “Now, with a partner in the White House, there is no limit to what we can accomplish.”

* Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has weighed in on the Democratic primary in New York, and has thrown his support to incumbent Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

* Speaking of the New York race, a new Rasmussen poll shows Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D) leading Gillibrand statewide, 33% to 27%, though about a third of Democrats in the state remain undecided.

* Rep. Mark Kirk (R) will launch his Senate campaign in Illinois on Monday.

* Is Alaska’s gubernatorial race a Democratic pick-up opportunity next year? Maybe.

* And in Minnesota, the number of credible Democratic candidates anxious to take on Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) keeps growing.

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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.