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.

* With less than a month to go, Bob McDonnell’s (R) gubernatorial campaign in Virginia appears to be gaining strength. A new Washington Post now shows him leading R. Creigh Deeds (D) by nine points, 53% to 44%, among likely voters. A month ago, the same poll showed McDonnell up by four.

* In New Jersey’s gubernatorial race, one new poll shows incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine (D) up by three, while another new poll shows challenger Chris Christie (R) up by three.

* The special election in New York’s 23rd is sparking serious rifts in Republican circles, with the NRCC backing state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava (R), despite her moderate record, and the party’s base rallying behind far-right Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman.

* Former Florida state House Speaker Marco Rubio, running a conservative U.S. Senate campaign while facing Gov. Charlie Crist in a Republican primary, accused the GOP establishment yesterday of being shrill and lazy. The National Republican Senatorial Committee was not pleased.

* The latest Field Poll in California shows state Attorney General Jerry Brown leading San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, 47% to 27%.

* After Sen. David Vitter’s (R-La.) vote on sexual assault victims working for defense contractors, the Young Democrats of Louisiana are going after the senator pretty aggressively.

* In a bit of a surprise, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (D) announced that he will not run in Minnesota’s open gubernatorial race next year. Party leaders are still waiting on word from Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak (D), who is rumored to be leaning towards launching a campaign.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. 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.