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.

* In Pennsylvania, a new Research 2000 poll shows Sen. Arlen Specter (D) building on his earlier leads over his primary challenger, Rep. Joe Sestak, with Specter now up by 19 points. Perhaps more importantly, the poll also shows Specter leading former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) by six, 47% to 41%.

* In Colorado, a new survey from Public Policy Polling has Sen. Michael Bennet (D) looking surprisingly competitive, after months of tepid support. Bennett is now tied with the Republican front-runner, far-right former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, at 43% each. The appointed senator leads the other GOP contenders by six to eight points. Andrew Romanoff, Bennett’s primary challenger, fares slightly better against all the Republican candidates.

* In California, a Research 2000 poll shows Meg Whitman leading the Republicans gubernatorial primary, but trailing Jerry Brown (D) by four points in a general-election match-up, 45% to 41%.

* The same survey shows Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) leading her likely GOP challengers by margins ranging from four to 10 points.

* And speaking of California, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) will announce today that he’s running for lieutenant governor.

* In Michigan’s Republican gubernatorial primary, Rep. Pete Hoekstra leads the large field in a new poll conducted for Michigan’s Booth Newspapers. State Attorney General Mike Cox, once considered the frontrunner, has slipped to third in the survey.

* Polls show Sen. David Vitter (R) looking strong in his re-election bid in Louisiana, but Dems continue to consider him vulnerable. Rep. Charlie Melancon’s (D) campaign is touting an internal poll showing the challenger within striking distance.

* Doug Hoffman is running again in New York’s 23rd, and this time, he’s going to try actually living in the congressional district.

* Businessman Tim Burns will be the GOP candidate in the special election in Pennsylvania’s 12th district, a race to replace the late Rep. John Murtha (D). Burns will face Mark Critz (D), a was a top aide to Murtha.

* In 2012 news, it sure doesn’t sound like Mike Huckabee intends to run for president.