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.

* Dems’ optimism about the Senate race in Connecticut seems justified — a Public Policy Polling survey shows state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) leading all of the Republican candidates by at least 30 points.

* In North Dakota, Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D) announced yesterday that he will seek re-election to the House, and not run to replace Sen. Byron Dorgan (D), who is retiring.

* As for who the Democratic candidate might be in North Dakota, former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D) appears to be a leading contender. MSNBC’s Ed Schultz’s name remains in the mix, though he conceded late yesterday that he’s “a long way from any kind of decision.”

* In Massachusetts, state Attorney General Martha Coakley, the Democrats’ Senate nominee, yesterday launched her first television ad since the primary. The special election to fill the vacancy left by Ted Kennedy will be held on Jan. 19.

* In related news, the Kennedy family remained neutral during the Democratic primary, but Vikki Kennedy formally threw her support to Coakley today.

* A new Rasmussen poll in Arkansas offers more bad news for Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D). The poll shows the incumbent trailing all of her potential Republican challengers in hypothetical match-ups, by margins ranging from eight to 12 points.

* With Gov. Bill Ritter (D) retiring this year, Colorado Dems hope to recruit a top-tier candidate to run in November. Near the top of the list, apparently, is Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who was a senator from the state before joining the Obama cabinet. Salazar, so far, hasn’t dropped any hints about his intentions either way.

* Is former Rep. Harold Ford (D-Tenn.) serious about the Senate race in New York. Probably not.

* And in Michigan, Lt. Gov. John Cherry’s (D) departure from the gubernatorial race seems to be welcome news to in-state Democrats, most of whom expected him to lose. As for who will be the Dem candidate, Rep. Gary Peters (D) isn’t running, but state House Speaker Andy Dillon (D) is.