Wednesday’s campaign round-up

WEDNESDAY’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.

* In Illinois’ Senate primaries yesterday, state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) and Rep. Mark Kirk (R) won their respective contests, and will face one another in November.

* Illinois’ gubernatorial primaries were far more competitive, and the results are far less clear. On the GOP side, state Sen. Bill Brady leads state Sen. Kirk Dillard by less than a percentage point, with votes still being tallied. On the Democratic side, incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn has declared victory, but his lead over state Comptroller Dan Hynes is also less than a percentage point.

* In one of the day’s bigger surprises, Ethan Hastert, son of the former House Speaker, lost his GOP congressional primary.

* It looks like former Sen. Dan Coats (R) will take on Sen. Evan Bayh (D) in Indiana this year. More on this later.

* In Florida, Rep. Bob Wexler (D) gave up his congressional seat last year, and primaries were held yesterday on the bid to replace him. State Sen. Ted Deutch won a Democratic primary, and is favored to win an April 13 special election.

* A new Quinnipiac poll in New York shows Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) leading former Rep. Harold Ford (D-Tenn.) in a likely primary, 36% to 18%.

* The same poll shows state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D) leading incumbent Gov. David Paterson (D) in a primary match-up by 32 points.

* In Texas, a Rasmussen poll shows incumbent Gov. Rick Perry with a strong lead over Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in a Republican gubernatorial primary, 44% to 29%.

* And given his recent health problems, speculation is growing that Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) may feel the need to retire this year, giving Republicans another pick-up opportunity in the House.

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Steve Benen

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.