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.

* In a new Research 2000 poll for Daily Kos, Chris Christie’s (R) lead in New Jersey’s gubernatorial race continues to shrink, with the challenger now ahead of Gov. Jon Corzine (D) by four, 46% to 42%. Independent Chris Daggett, who was included in the poll for the first time, was third with 7%.

* In related news, the three New Jersey gubernatorial hopefuls met for a debate last night, and managed to have a fairly civil affair.

* The Republican Governors Association is going after Creigh Deeds (D) in Virginia on taxes, and his recent difficulty answering a question on the subject. “Republicans believe this is their silver bullet,” Chris Cillizza said.

* New polling in Delaware this week shows a competitive U.S. Senate race, with Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.), if he runs, as the early frontrunner.

* Rep. Mark Kirk (R) is considered the very likely Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in Illinois next year, but former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka threw his support to Kirk’s primary opponent, largely unknown real estate developer Patrick Hughes, yesterday. Ditka has no political background, but remains influential in some Illinois GOP circles.

* Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D) reelection campaign announced yesterday that President Obama will travel to Connecticut in three weeks for a fundraiser.

* Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher’s (D) Senate campaign continues to pick up support from party leaders. This week, Fisher received an endorsement from former president Bill Clinton.

* And in Pennsylvania, Sen. Arlen Specter is encouraging Rep. Joe Sestak to resign from Congress to focus on his Senate campaign full-time.