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.

* As Pennsylvania’s Democratic Senate primary heats up, two new polls shows Rep. Joe Sestak inching past Sen. Arlen Specter. A new Research 2000 poll shows the challenger up by two, 45% to 43%, while a Suffolk poll shows Sestak by nine, 49% to 40%.

* In Arkansas’ Democratic Senate primary, Research 2000 shows incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln leading Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, 46% to 37%. If Lincoln doesn’t top 50% next week, the two will meet again in a runoff election.

* On a related note, a group called Americans for Jobs Security continues to go after Halter with racially-charged messages.

* In Kentucky, the latest Research 2000 poll shows Rand Paul leading Trey Grayson in the Republican Senate primary by 10 points, while Daniel Mongiardo’s lead in the Democratic Senate primary over Jack Conway is down to three points.

* Linda McMahon, the faltering Republican Senate candidate in Connecticut, is trying to revive her campaign by calling for more offshore drilling. Seems like a bad idea.

* Florida Gov. Charlie Crist lost his Senate campaign staff when he left the Republican Party, but he now has a new campaign manager: his sister, who isn’t a campaign professional, but is a public school teacher.

* Scandal-plagued Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons (R) is trailing his Republican primary challenger, Brian Sandoval, by 18 points in a new Mason-Dixon poll.

* In Wisconsin, Democratic leaders have rallied behind state Sen. Julie Lassa as the strongest candidate to run for the seat Rep. Dave Obey (D) is giving up.

* And in Utah, Sen. Bob Bennett (R) has said he won’t run as an independent in the wake of being rejected by his own party, but if he changes his mind, he’d have to go to court to challenge the state early deadline, which annoys independent candidates across the country. (thanks to NTodd for the heads-up)