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.

* In the final Quinnipiac poll in Pennsylvania’s Democratic Senate primary, Rep. Joe Sestak leads Sen. Arlen Specter by just one point, 42% to 41%. Last week, Specter led by two, suggesting Sestak is closing well.

* By some accounts, the White House now expects Specter to come up short tomorrow.

* In the final survey from Public Policy Polling in Kentucky’s Republican Senate primary, right-wing ophthalmologist Rand Paul continues to have a big lead over Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, 52% to 34%.

* Last week, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said his re-election campaign is on track, and media reports to the contrary are wrong. Over the weekend, McCain lost both his campaign manager and part-time deputy campaign manager.

* As expected, Democratic leaders in Indiana formally chose Rep. Brad Ellsworth on Saturday to run to replace Sen. Evan Bayh (D). Ellsworth will face corporate lobbyist Dan Coats (R), who won his primary fight last week, in November.

* Former eBay executive Meg Whitman’s (R) gubernatorial campaign in California has struggled of late, but she’s getting some additional support from the Republican establishment. Yesterday, Dick Cheney endorsed her.

* Charlie Crist’s post-announcement bounce may be ending in Florida’s Senate race. A new Rasmussen poll shows former right-wing House Speaker Marco Rubio (R) back out in front, leading Crist by eight, 39% to 31%.Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) is third with 18%.

* In Texas, Rasmussen shows Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) leading Houston Mayor Bill White (D) in this year’s gubernatorial race, 51% to 38%. Most recent polls have showed the two far closer.

* And in Florida’s gubernatorial race, state CFO Alex Sink (D) has been struggling a bit in the polls, and there are new reports that Lawton “Bud” Chiles III, son of the late Florida governor and senator, is thinking about challenging Sink in a Democratic primary.

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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.