Tuesday’s campaign round-up

TUESDAY’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.

* It took longer than expected, but state lawmakers in West Virginia approved a measure yesterday to allow for a special election this year, allowing voters to fill the late Sen. Robert Byrd’s (D) vacancy. A deal was struck when Republicans demanded that a sitting U.S. House member — in this case, Shelley Moore Capito, believed to be the leading GOP candidate for the Senate race — can run for re-election and in the special election at the same time.

* And in related news, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D), as expected, announced this morning that he’s running to fill Byrd’s vacancy.

* Voters in Georgia will head to the polls today, with both parties holding gubernatorial primaries. Among Dems, former Gov. Roy Barnes is favored to defeat state Attorney General Thurbert Baker, and among Republicans, former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel is leading a multi-candidate field, and may be forced into an Aug. 10 runoff.

* In Florida, a new survey from Public Policy Polling shows Gov. Charlie Crist (I) leading in the Senate race with 35% support. Marco Rubio (R) is second with 29%, followed by Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) with 17%. Libertarian Alex Snitker is a distant fourth with 4%. The results are largely unchanged from a similar poll taken in March.

* Scott McInnis, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Colorado mired in a plagiarism scandal, made his first public appearance yesterday since the controversy erupted last week. He vowed not to end his campaign: “These boots are made for walking, and I’m ready to fight.”

* In Idaho, Rep. Walt Minnick, easily Congress’ most conservative Democrat, received an endorsement from the Tea Party Express a few weeks ago. Yesterday, citing concerns over racism, Minnick said he no longer accepts the support.

* In Arkansas, a poll commissioned by Arkansas-based Talk Business shows incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D) trailing Rep. John Boozman (R) badly in this year’s Senate race, 57% to 32%.

* The same poll shows Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe (D) leading challenger Jim Keet (R), 49.5% to 40.5%.

* And former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin (R) tends to avoid “establishment” Republican candidates, giving her endorsement to more right-wing challengers, except in Iowa and New Hampshire. I wonder why that is.