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 Suffolk University/WHDH-TV poll in Massachusetts shows state Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) as the odds-on favorite in the special election to fill the Senate vacancy left by Ted Kennedy. She’s far better known, at least for now, than her Democratic rivals, and she leads the top GOP candidate in a hypothetical match-up by 30 points. (thanks to V.S. for the tip)

* A new Quinnipiac poll shows Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) trailing his leading Republican opponents, but the gap is shrinking. In a hypothetical match-up against former Rep. Rob Simmons (R), the GOP challenger leads 44% to 39%. In July, Simmons led by nine.

* Speaking of the Senate race in Connecticut, financier Peter Schiff, a former advisor to Ron Paul, is now officially running in the Republican primary, hoping to take on Dodd next November.

* In New York, a Marist poll shows 70% of voters in the state hoping Gov. David Paterson (D) does not seek another term. Two-thirds of New Yorkers, and more than three-quarters of New York Democrats, want to see state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo run to replace Paterson. In a primary, Cuomo leads Paterson by 47 points.

* In Colorado, Rasmussen shows former Lt. Go. Jane Norton (R) leading appointed Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo) by nine points, 45% to 36%. Norton enjoys much better name recognition, despite Bennet already being in the Senate.

* In New Hampshire, Rasmussen shows former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte (R) leading Rep. Paul Hodes (D) in a hypothetical match-up by eight, 46% to 38%.

* In North Carolina, Rasmussen shows incumbent Sen. Richard Burr (R) with a 10-point lead over Secretary of State Elaine Marshall (D) in a hypothetical match-up, 48% to 38%. Rep. Bob Etheridge (D) has also been eyeing the race, but he trails Burr by an even larger margin.

* Rep. Roy Blunt’s (R) Senate campaign in Missouri just got a little easier, with former state treasurer Sarah Steelman (R) deciding not to take on Blunt in a GOP primary.