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.

* West Virginia held its Senate primaries over the weekend. As expected, incumbent Gov. Joe Manchin easily won the Democratic nod, and will face John Raese, who also cruised in the Republican primary.

* Speaking of weekend contests, Louisiana held its Republican Senate primary, which, not too long ago, looked like it might be competitive. It wasn’t — scandal-plagued incumbent David Vitter crushed former state Supreme Court Justice Chet Traylor, 87% to 8%. (No, that’s not a typo.) Vitter will face Rep. Charlie Melancon, who cruised past minimal opposition in the Democratic primary.

* As of last week, spending on campaign ads has so far totaled $395 million for this cycle. At this point in the last midterm elections, it was $286 million.

* In Vermont’s five-way Democratic gubernatorial primary, a final tally state shows Sen. Peter Shumlin narrowly ahead, but 0.9% of the vote separates him from the second and third place candidates. State Sen. Doug Racine, just 197 votes behind Shumlin, requested a recount late Friday.

* Late last week, Joe Miller, the apparent Republican Senate nominee in Alaska, compared incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski to a prostitute. Miller, soon after, blamed an aide.

* Patriot Majority, an independent expenditure outfit, has a pretty hard-hitting ad targeting Sharron Angle’s (R) Senate campaign in Nevada.

* Speaking of Nevada, the latest Mason-Dixon poll of the state’s gubernatorial race shows Brian Sandoval (R) with a big lead over Rory Reid (D), 53% to 31%.

* In New Mexico’s gubernatorial race, an Albuquerque Journal poll shows Susana Martinez (R) with a six-point lead over Lt. Gov. Diane Denish (D), 45% to 39%. Denish’s connection to Gov. Bill Richardson (D), once considered a positive, has become a drag on her support as Richardson’s approval rating drops.

* And in exceedingly silly 2012 news, former right-wing U.N. Ambassador John Bolton hasn’t ruled out a presidential campaign.