Monday’s campaign round-up

MONDAY’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.

* Charlie Crist is still losing to Marco Rubio in Florida’s Republican Senate primary, but the latest Mason-Dixon poll puts Rubio’s lead at “only” 11 points, 48% to 37%.

* Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) needed a running mate, and the state party has chosen Sheila Simon, an attorney and former city council member. Simon is perhaps best known as the daughter of former Senator Paul Simon (D).

* The primary is not until August. But Democrats in Minnesota’s 6th congressional district formally endorsed state Sen. Tarryl Clark (D) over the weekend, hoping Clark can topple right-wing Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) in November.

* Many New York Republicans were delighted to recruit Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, a former Dem, to run for governor on the GOP ticket, but rank-and-file Republicans in the Empire State aren’t impressed. In the latest Maris poll, Levy trails former Rep. Rick Lazio in the Republican gubernatorial primary by 36 points.

* At this point, former Sen. Lincoln Chafee (I) continues to look like the frontrunner in Rhode Island’s gubernatorial race.

* Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons is dropping out of Tennessee’s Republican gubernatorial primary, making it a three-way contest between Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, Rep. Zach Wamp, and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey.

* And speaking of dropping out, I’d completely forgotten that he was still running, but former New Hampshire Sen. Bob Smith (R) was apparently trying to run for the Senate this year in Florida. Late last week, however, Smith quit, citing poor fundraising.