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.

* As expected, state Rep. Nikki Haley (R) cruised to an easy victory in yesterday’s South Carolina Republican gubernatorial primary runoff. She’ll face Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, with Haley positioned as the heavy favorite.

* The party establishment backed and recruited Cal Cunningham in North Carolina’s Democratic Senate primary, but Democratic voters stuck with North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, who easily won yesterday’s primary runoff. Marshall will take on incumbent Sen. Richard Burr (R) in November, who Dems continue to consider vulnerable.

* Tea Partiers got what they wanted in Utah, as right-wing attorney Mike Lee won the Republican Senate primary, edging businessman Tim Bridgewater.

* Speaking of Utah, Blue Dog Rep. Jim Matheson (D) easily won his first primary challenge, dispatching educator Claudia Wright by a 2-to-1 margin.

* In South Carolina’s 1st congressional district, Tim Scott easily defeated Paul Thurmond in the Republican primary, and will likely be the first African-American Republican elected to Congress since Oklahoma’s J.C. Watts. It is curious, though, that the NRCC didn’t include Scott in its “Young Guns” program.

* The closely-watched Senate race in Pennsylvania couldn’t be any closer. The latest survey from Public Policy Polling shows Rep. Joe Sestak (D) and former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) tied at 41% each.

* It didn’t take long at all for John McCain’s (R) campaign in Arizona to make an attack ad out of primary challenger J.D. Hayworth’s (R) background as a pitchman in a controversial infomercial.

* And despite Rep. Mark Kirk’s (R) apparent allergy to the truth, he’s very likely to benefit from Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones splitting progressive votes with Democratic state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.