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.

* Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) re-election prospects continue to look like an uphill climb. A new Mason-Dixon poll found him trailing both of his Republican challengers in hypothetical match-ups, including a 10-point gap against Nevada Republican Party Chairwoman Sue Lowden, 49% to 39%.

* In New Jersey’s gubernatorial race, independent Chris Daggett has won the endorsement of the state’s largest newspaper, the Star-Ledger.

* In related news, there’s apparently a growing sense in Democratic circles that it’s going to have to go negative next year. “Very often the instinct for an incumbent party is to defend and justify,” said Geoff Garin, a pollster for Democratic candidates. “But in this kind of environment, the best defense is a good offense. This needs to be a cycle where Republican vulnerabilities are a central part of the debate.”

* In California, the latest Field Poll shows Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) looking fairly strong for re-election next year. In a hypothetical match-up against former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, the incumbent leads by 14, 49% to 35%.

* Rep. Kendrick Meek’s (D) Senate campaign in Florida leaked an internal poll over the weekend. While it showed Meek trailing Gov. Charlie Crist (R) in a hypothetical match-up by 16 points, the poll also found that Crist’s support is soft statewide and among voters who know both candidates, Meek actually enjoys a narrow lead.

* U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan, a controversial Bush-era prosecutor who has been accused of using her office to pursue a partisan agenda, is considering a congressional campaign in Pennsylvania. (thanks to reader K.M. for the tip)

* Sarah Palin has made herself available to the Republican gubernatorial campaigns in Virginia and New Jersey. Neither, apparently, want to be associated with the former Alaska governor.

* Similarly, in California, Carly Fiorina was asked about her own associations with Palin. She told reporters, “I’ve never met Sarah Palin. Next question.”