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.

* Yesterday afternoon, former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte officially won New Hampshire’s GOP Senate primary, eking out a narrow win over Ovide Lamontagne.

* On a related note, the latest survey from Public Policy Polling shows Ayotte starting the general election phase with a narrow lead over Rep. Paul Hodes (D), 47% to 43%.

* In Florida’s Senate race, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows Marco Rubio (R) pulling away, now leading Gov. Charlie Crist (I) by 14 points, 40% to 26%. Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) is third with 21%, and Meek is clearly pulling his improved numbers from Crist, propelling Rubio.

* Speaking of Florida, Reuters/Ipsos also shows disgraced former health care executive Rick Scott (R) narrowly leading state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink (D) in the gubernatorial race, 47% to 45%.

* Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman is breaking all kinds of spending records in her Republican gubernatorial campaign in California. So far, she’s contributed $119 million to her own effort — easily surpassing the most money any candidate has ever invested in their own race in American history.

* In Ohio, two new polls show former Rep. John Kasich (R) with increasingly-comfortable leads over incumbent Gov. Ted Strickland (D). Quinnipiac shows Kasich, a former Fox News personality and Wall Street executive, up by 17 points, 54% to 37%, while a CNN/Time poll shows Kasich up by seven, 51% to 44%.

* Speaking of Ohio, CNN/Time also shows former Bush budget director Rob Portman (R) ahead of Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D), 52% to 41%.

* In Nevada, the new CNN/Time poll shows Sharron Angle (R) with a one-point lead over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), 42% to 41%.

* In the state of Washington, the CNN/Time poll shows Sen. Patty Murray (D) leading in her re-election bid, topping Dino Rossi (R) by nine, 53% to 44%