Monday’s campaign round-up

MONDAY’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.

* In New Jersey’s closely watched gubernatorial race, a new Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Poll shows Chris Christie’s (R) lead over incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine shrinking to eight among likely voters, 47% to 38%. Among all registered voters, not just those who consider themselves likely to vote, Christie’s lead is just one point.

* Bob McDonnell, the Republican gubernatorial hopeful in Virginia, accidentally dropped an F-bomb during a live radio interview late last week. Responding to a question about whether a tax increase may be necessary to fund transportation projects, the usually-disciplined conservative said, “I’m going to find other ways to be able to fund transportation. I’ve outlined twelve f***ing funding mechanisms that are creative, that are entrepreneurial.” A spokesperson later told reporters, “It was an accident. It is that simple.”

* As a side note, McDonnell sponsored legislation in Virginia to punish students who use profanity.

* In a bit of a surprise, former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card (R) has announced he will not run in the special election to fill Massachusetts’ Senate vacancy.

* In related news, Reps. John Tierney (D) and Ed Markey (D) have also decided not to run.

* In Connecticut, the latest Rasmussen poll shows Sen. Chris Dodd (D) leading some of his would-be Republican challengers, but trailing former Rep. Rob Simmons, the leading GOP contender, by 10 points, 49% to 39%.

* Former Rep. James Traficant (D-Ohio), who was released from federal prison last week after serving seven years on a bribery and racketeering conviction, told CNN this morning he might launch a comeback.

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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.