Wednesday’s campaign round-up

WEDNESDAY’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. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) gave her word last year that she would step down from Congress this year, regardless of the outcome of her gubernatorial campaign. Hutchison has since changed her mind, and will stay on through 2012.

* Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) had hoped to get a re-election boost in Nevada this year with Scott Ashjian running as a right-wing Tea Party candidate, which might split the conservative vote. That plan is looking shaky: Ashjian is now facing up to 14 years in prison.

* Dems got some good news in Ohio today, with a new Quinnipiac poll showing Democrats leading in both the gubernatorial and Senate races this year.

* Sen. Arlen Specter’s (D-Pa.) campaign got a bit of a boost yesterday when he picked up an endorsement from Pennsylvania’s AFL-CIO.

* In Florida’s closely-watched Republican Senate primary, Marco Rubio has won the backing of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), an influential far-right senator. Coburn said his decision was based in part on Charlie Crist’s support for economic recovery efforts last year.

* California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina (R) ran into some trouble yesterday when she extended Passover best wishes to Jewish voters, and said the holiday is an occasion in which “we break bread.” Not in Judaism, they don’t.

* In Alabama, the latest survey from Public Policy Polling shows Rep. Artur Davis (D) leading the state’s Democratic gubernatorial primary by 10 points over state Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks.

* And in South Dakota, Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D) is leading her GOP challengers in hypothetical match-ups, by margins ranging from 2 to 12 points, at least according to Rasmussen. In related news, Herseth Sandlin’s Democratic primary challenger ended his bid yesterday.

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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.