Wednesday’s campaign round-up

WEDNESDAY’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 Kentucky’s closely-watched Senate race, Rasmussen recently showed Rand Paul (R) leading Jack Conway (D) by 25 points. Now that Paul’s extremist views are better known, his lead is down to eight points, 49% to 41%.

* National Review appears to have very little respect for Linda McMahon (R), the right-wing wrestling executive, and the Republicans’ U.S. Senate candidate in Connecticut this year. “If decency means nothing, McMahon is the businesswoman par excellence,” Rich Lowry wrote.

* On a related note, McMahon’s Democratic opponent, state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, has launched his first television ads of the campaign.

* In California’s Senate race, Tom Campbell (R) appears to be giving up with less than a week until the primary. Unable to match Carly Fiorina’s (R) enormous wealth, Campbell has pulled all of his television advertising.

* Sue Lowden’s (R) painful Senate campaign in Nevada is starting to worry about the upcoming Republican primary — money that had been set aside for the general election is now being utilized.

* In a poll commissioned by the DSCC, Rep. Joe Sestak (D) leads former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) in this year’s Senate race, 47% to 40%.

* Republicans will field a candidate to take on Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) this year in New York. Former CIA officer Gary Berntsen is now the GOP’s designee, though he’s still facing a challenge from Conservative Party nominee Jay Townsend.

* Remember Dale Peterson in Alabama, whose campaign ads for agriculture commissioner went viral? He came in third yesterday.

* And while Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) of Texas had vowed to step down, win or lose, after running in a gubernatorial primary earlier this year, don’t be too surprised if she goes back on her word and runs for re-election in 2012.

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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.