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.

* Doug Hoffman has once again lost the congressional special election in New York’s 23rd.

* Surprisingly enough, a new Rasmussen poll shows Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) struggling badly with his Republican supporters back home. In a hypothetical primary match-up against former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.), McCain’s lead is just two points, 45% to 43%.

* There’s no official word, but there are reports that Rudy Giuliani will not run for governor in New York next year. There are some rumors, however, that he’s eyeing the Senate race, instead.

* If Giuliani does take on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) in New York, a new Marist poll suggests he’ll start as the frontrunner. Gillibrand, who was appointed to the seat earlier this year, is still not universally known in the state.

* A new Zogby poll (telephone, not internet) shows Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) leading her top Republican challenger, state Sen. Gilbert Baker, by two points, 41% to 39%. If Lincoln supports the health care bill, Zogby shows her losing support.

* In California, a Rasmussen poll shows Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) below the 50% threshold, but nevertheless leading both of her Republican rivals by about 10 points each.

* Sen. Arlen Specter, still hoping to impress Democratic primary voters, told bloggers yesterday that he does not support a military escalation in Afghanistan.

* A new Research 2000 poll for Daily Kos in Florida continues to show a very competitive gubernatorial race. State Attorney General Bill McCollum (R) leads state CFO Alex Sink (D) by two, 35% to 33%.

* Speaking of Florida, Blue Dog Rep. Allen Boyd (D) is facing a primary challenge next year, and a new poll suggests state Senate Minority Leader Al Lawson may have the early edge over the incumbent.

* Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) was asked yesterday afternoon whether Sarah Palin is qualified to be president. He really didn’t want to answer the question.