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.

* The center of the GOP universe will in New Orleans today, with the start of the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.

* In Pennsylvania, a new Quinnipiac poll shows former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) out in front of Sen. Arlen Specter (D), 46% to 41%. In March, Quinnipiac showed Specter leading.

* In related news, Quinnipiac also shows state Attorney General Tom Corbett (R) leading Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race, despite his having filed a frivolous lawsuit challenging the new Affordable Care Act.

* With Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) considering retirement, the incumbent is facing heavy pressure from party leaders to seek re-election.

* In Colorado’s Senate race, Rasmussen shows appointed incumbent Michael Bennet (D) still trailing, but by a slimmer margin. The senator, according to the poll, is now down by five against former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton (R), 46% to 41%.

* In Illinois, the latest survey from Public Policy Polling shows Bill Brady (R) leading Gov. Pat Quinn (D) by 10, despite the fact that most voters don’t know who Brady is.

* Former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) officially launched a campaign to get his old job back yesterday, but was immediately met with questions about his former running mate, Michael Steele.

* I’m not sure where his confidence comes from, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said if the election were right now, he’d win another term.

* The Republican field hoping to take on Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) in November got a little bigger this week, with state Commerce Secretary Richard Leinenkugel kicking off his campaign.

* Many Indiana Democrats are wondering if retiring Sen. Evan Bayh (D) might run for governor in 2012.