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.

* In Kentucky, Senate candidate Jack Conway (D) is exploiting outrage surrounding Sen. Jim Bunning’s (R) latest tantrum in a new campaign ad.

* Speaking of new campaign ads, Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D) unveiled her first re-election ad this morning. Lincoln, who’s facing a primary opponent, boasts in the spot about her opposition to bailouts, the public option, and cap-and-trade. Lincoln also reminds voters, “I don’t answer to my party; I answer to Arkansas.”

* In the meantime, Lincoln is losing progressive allies at a rapid clip. First it was key labor unions; now it’s EMILY’s list.

* In North Dakota, Gov. John Hoeven (R) looks to be a very strong Senate candidate, and this week, his most credible Democratic challenger, former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D), decided not to run.

* The right-wing Club for Growth continues to go after Sen. Robert Bennett (R) in Utah, launching a new ad accusing Bennett of supporting bailouts, wasteful spending, and health care reform. The incumbent senator is facing several primary opponents, but the Club for Growth is not formally backing any of the challengers.

* Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is going on the offensive against his primary opponent, former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, reminding voters of Hayworth’s role in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

* The DCCC had hoped Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), chairman of the National Republican Campaign Committee, might be vulnerable this year. After some disappointing primary results this week, Dems are turning their attention elsewhere.

* Rep. Dan Boren (D), easily one of Congress’ most conservative Democrats, may represent a heavily-Republican district, but he nevertheless seems like a safe bet for re-election.