Thursday’s campaign round-up

THURSDAY’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.

* Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) is trailing in primary bid in Alaska by about 1,500 votes, with at least 8,000 more still to be counted. If she ends up losing, Murkowski has the option of pulling a Lieberman and running as a third-party candidate. She told her supporters yesterday that “it ain’t over yet, folks” and that she would wait until the absentee ballots are counted before making decisions about her short-term future.

* In Vermont’s five-way Democratic gubernatorial primary, just 1% of the vote separate the top three candidates, with all of the precincts reporting. For now, state Sen. Peter Shumlin leads by 213 votes over his next closest competitor.

* Florida Republicans were forced to scrap their “party unity” event yesterday, after GOP candidates decided they still hate each other. On a related note, Bill McCollum still isn’t interested in endorsing Rick Scott in the gubernatorial race, citing questions about “his character, his integrity, his honesty” and his fraud scandal.

* In Wisconsin, right-wing Senate hopeful Ron Johnson (R) is vehemently against government assistance to private entities — except when his own business sought and received a government-issued loan to expand its factory.

* In Ohio, former Rep. John Kasich’s (R) gubernatorial campaign presented a plan to streamline business regulations. There’s one problem: it’s nearly identical to the plan Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland approved two years ago.

* Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D) campaign unveiled a hard-hitting new ad this morning, using Sharron Angle’s own words to make the Republican candidate look like a lunatic.

* In Colorado, the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll shows Republican extremist Ken Buck leading Sen. Michael Bennet (D) by nine, 49% to 40%. The Democrat’s campaign will reportedly unveil an internal poll today showing Bennet up by four.

* In Pennsylvania, a new Franklin & Marshall poll shows former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) leading the U.S. Senate race by nine, and state A.G. Tom Corbett (R) leading the gubernatorial race by 11.