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.

* Yesterday afternoon, state Comptroller Dan Hynes conceded to Gov. Pat Quinn in the Illinois Democratic governor’s primary. Quinn won by less than 1% of the vote.

* Speaking of Illinois, Quinn desperately wants millionaire pawnbroker Scott Lee Cohen, who inexplicably won the state’s Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, to drop out of the race.

* Cohen, who spent $2 million of his own money on the primary, has vowed to stay in the race, despite his stunning personal scandals.

* A new Rasmussen poll shows former Lt. Governor Jane Norton (R) leading appointed Sen. Michael Bennet (D) by 14, 51% to 37%.

* Former Sen. Dan Coats’ (R) comeback effort in Indiana took another hit yesterday when we learned that, as a corporate lobbyist, he worked for an oil company connected to Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. Coats apparently intends to take on Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) this year.

* In Michigan, don’t be too surprised if former Rep. Joe Schwarz runs for governor as an independent this year. Schwarz, who served in Congress as a Republican, lost a 2006 primary after GOP voters deemed him too moderate.

* In Kansas, Rep. Jerry Moran continues to lead Rep. Todd Tiahrt in a Senate primary, though the religious right is rallying behind Tiahrt.

* In New York’s 23rd, Doug Hoffman is back, and his Conservative Party allies are demanding that the local Republican Party nominate him as their candidate — or else see a repeat of the special election fiasco. (thanks to reader D.B. for the tip)

* Well aware of the long odds, North Dakota state Sen. Tracy Potter (D) has decided to take on Gov. John Hoeven (R) in a Senate campaign this year. Hoeven is perceived as unbeatable, but Potter said he’s “going to take on Goliath.”

* Republican Senate hopeful Carly Fiorina’s bizarre campaign in California is promising “more shocking web-based ads or videos” in the wake of the Demon Sheep clip.

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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.