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.

* Arlen Specter’s re-election campaign in Pennsylvania took a hit this morning, with the release of a new Quinnipiac poll showing his lead over former Rep. Pat Toomey (R), in a hypothetical general-election match-up, shrinking to just one point, 45% to 44%. A couple of months ago, Specter led by 22.

* The same poll showed Specter’s primary opponent, Rep. Joe Sestak (D), trailing Toomey by four, 39% to 35%, though Sestak, unlike Specter, is largely unknown to most of the state. Specter also leads Sestak among Pennsylvania Democrats, 55% to 23%.

* And speaking of Pennsylvania, Quinnipiac also found that next year’s gubernatorial campaign is wide open. None of the top Democratic candidates had 20% support, and among Republicans, state Attorney General Tom Corbett appears to have the early edge with 38% support.

* Kelly Ayotte’s Republican Senate campaign in New Hampshire got some good news this morning, when businessman Fred Tausch said he would end his nascent campaign.

* Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R), apparently hoping to impress the party’s right-wing base, announced yesterday that he opposes Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court nomination. Given Florida’s large Hispanic population, expect to hear a lot more about this.

* While the Democratic campaign committees have enjoyed stronger fundraising of late over their Republican counterparts, the RNC is still faring better than the DNC.

* The latest survey from Public Policy Polling in Louisiana shows Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) leading Rep. Charlie Melancon (D), 44% to 32%. While the margin will no doubt be encouraging to Republicans, the poll offered several warning signs for Vitter, including the fact that only 38% of respondents believe Vitter deserves another term.

* And in New York, Rep. John McHugh (R) is leaving Congress to become Secretary of the Army, and the NRCC is already launching attacks against the likely Democratic candidate hoping to replace him. McHugh has not yet resigned his seat.