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.

* Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (I) is not prepared to say which party he would caucus with if he’s elected to the Senate.

* The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a controversial new TV ad up in Arkansas, in support of Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D). The racial aspect is hard to overlook.

* A new poll from the Honolulu Advertiser shows exactly the scenario Dems feared — in the upcoming special election in Hawaii, Ed Case and Colleen Hanabusa are splitting the Democratic vote, putting Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou (R) out in front.

* With time running out in Ohio’s Democratic Senate primary, two new polls show Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher leading Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner by healthy margins. Quinnipiac has Fisher up by 19 points, while a Suffolk University poll shows Fisher leading by 28.

* Former Rep. and convicted felon Jim Traficant announced this morning he will try to return to Congress, running as an independent in Ohio’s 17th. The incumbent is Rep. Tim Ryan (D).

* In Kentucky, religious right leader James Dobson has changed course, dropping his support for Trey Grayson in the Republican Senate primary, and announcing this morning that he’s now backing right-wing ophthalmologist Rand Paul. Dobson had endorsed Grayson just last week.

* In North Carolina, a new survey from Public Policy Polling still has Elaine Marshall leading Cal Cunningham in the Democratic Senate primary, to be held tomorrow. Neither candidate appears likely to get 40% of the vote, making a runoff between the two all but inevitable.

* Joe Arpaio, the controversial Arizona sheriff from Maricopa County, is considering a gubernatorial campaign. He may announce his intentions as early as today.

* If Chris Coons (D) is going to be competitive in Delaware’s Senate race, he’s going to have to pick up the pace — Rasmussen shows Rep. Michael Castle (R) up by 23 points, 55% to 32%.