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 Rasmussen poll shows Bob McDonnell (R) building on his earlier leads in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, and now enjoys a 13-point edge over Creigh Deeds (D), 54% to 41%.

* For his part, Deeds is going with a closing message that uses some of his awkwardness as a selling point. “If you want ‘slick’ go with the other guy,” the narrator tells viewers in the Democrat’s latest ad.

* Over the summer, when Gov. Jon Corzine’s (D) campaign was struggling badly in New Jersey, the White House took a more active interest in the race. After meetings with David Axelrod and political director Patrick Gaspard in the Garden State, Corzine made some changes, including replacing his pollster.

* In the special election in New York’s 23rd, a new Research 2000 poll for Daily Kos shows Democrat Bill Owens with the narrowest of leads. The results, which won’t be formally available until later, show Owens leading with 33%, with Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman extremely close behimd with 32%. Republican Dede Scozzafava, who was in second, is slipping badly, with 21% support.

* MoveOn.org moved yesterday to help support the Owens campaign.

* A right-wing group calling itself Common Sense in America is pulling a dirty trick this week, “praising” Dede Scozzafava for some center-left positions. The ad, engineered by Hoffman supporters, called Scozzafava “the best choice for progressives.” The intention, obviously, is to convince Republican voters that Scozzafava isn’t nearly conservative enough, while hoping to fool Democratic voters.

* In Texas, where Gov. Rick Perry is facing Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in a closely-watched Republican gubernatorial primary, Dick Cheney has weighed in, throwing his support to Hutchison.

* The latest Ohio Newspaper Poll (pdf) shows Gov. Ted Strickland (D) leading Republican challenger John Kasich (R) by just one point, 48% to 47%.

* And in New York, Chris Collins’ (R) gubernatorial campaign is off to a bad start, after the county executive compared Jewish state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to Hitler and suggested he might be the anti-Christ.