Tuesday’s campaign round-up

TUESDAY’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.

* Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Penn.) got surprisingly good news in a new Quinnipiac poll, which shows him leading in both his primary and the general election. Specter, according to Quinnipiac, leads Rep. Joe Sestak (D), 53% to 29%, in the race for the Democratic nomination. The same poll shows the incumbent pulling ahead of former Rep. Pat Toomey, a right-wing Republican, 49% to 42%.

* Sen. John McCain (R) caught a bit of a break in Arizona yesterday, when four key Tea Party groups issued a statement saying they will not endorse anyone in the Senate GOP primary. McCain’s Republican challenger, former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, is expected to generate more support from far-right activists like those in Tea Party organizations.

* Lt. Gov Bill Halter’s (D) Senate campaign in Arkansas got off to a good start yesterday, with the AFL-CIO throwing its support to Halter over incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D). Labor groups and their allies have been at odds with Lincoln over a variety of issues, most notably her opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act.

* It’s primary day in Texas, and the Republicans’ gubernatorial contest is the marquee match-up. Expect incumbent Gov. Rick Perry (R) to do very well, but he’ll need 50% to avoid a runoff.

* State Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) has been running for governor in California for a while now, but he’s poised to make it official today. Brown served two terms as governor from 1975 until 1983.

* Confirming other recent polling in Rhode Island, Rasmussen shows former Sen. Lincoln Chafee, running as an independent, leading the state’s gubernatorial race.

* Illinois Dems need a candidate to run for lieutenant governor, but they’re not sure who to pick.

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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.