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 Arizona, recent polls show Sen. John McCain (R) leading former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R) in their Republican Senate primary, but by a variety of margins. A new Research 2000 poll shows the incumbent ahead by a pretty comfortable margin, 52% to 37%.

* Rex Rammell (R), running for governor in Idaho this year, told ABC News this week that if right-wing militias want to “show a little force” in opposition to the U.S. government, “I don’t have a problem with that.”

* In Ohio, the latest Rasmussen poll shows a very competitive gubernatorial race, with former Rep. John Kasich (R) leading incumbent Gov. Ted Strickland (D) by the slimmest of margins, 46% to 45%. Strickland had been trailing by far larger margins.

* Craig Varoga, a longtime Democratic political operative, has formed a group intended to oppose far-right Tea Party candidates. It’s called the Patriot Majority PAC.

* In the GOP primary in Arkansas’ 2nd congressional district, the Republican establishment is rallying behind former Karl Rove protege Tim Griffin. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), however, has thrown his support to Griffin’s primary opponent, Scott Wallace.

* And in Kansas City, a white supremacist running for the Senate can force radio stations to air his commercials, regardless of their racist and anti-Semitic content, because he has filed required papers to qualify as a write-in candidate. Legally, stations are required to broadcast the ads of “legally qualified candidates” if they have the money to pay for them. Said KMBZ program director Neil Larrimore in response to listener complaints, “Our hands are tied.”

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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.