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.

* As was rumored yesterday, Bud Chiles ended his independent gubernatorial campaign in Florida today, and threw his support to state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink (D).

* How worried is Rep. Mike Castle about his Republican Senate primary in Delaware? Castle, assumed to be the overwhelming favorite, purchased $113,000 worth of pre-primary airtime yesterday, suggesting Tea Party favorite Christine O’Donnell has the frontrunner awfully nervous.

* Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) and failed former HP CEO Carly Fiorina (R) had their first debate last night. The two don’t appear to get along especially well.

* For the first time in a long while, Democrats were awfully pleased with a Rasmussen poll yesterday. The GOP-friendly pollster found Joe Miller (R) leading Scott McAdams (D) in Alaska’s Senate race by just six points, 50% to 44%.

* In Ohio, Public Policy Polling shows former Rep. John Kasich (R) leading incumbent Gov. Ted Strickland (D), 50% to 40%. PPP also shows former Bush budget director Rob Portman (R) leading Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D) in this year’s Senate race, 45% to 38%.

* The Republican Governors Association was hit this week with a $2 million penalty after campaign finance violations in Texas’ 2006 gubernatorial campaign.

* As if there weren’t enough controversies surrounding Sen. David Vitter (R)*, FEC documents now show him receiving campaign donations from a woman who died last year.

* And in 2012 news, John Bolton, the Bush/Cheney administration’s controversial right-wing U.N. ambassador, continues to flirt with the idea of a presidential campaign.

*Corrected. Vitter is a Republican.

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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.