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.

* If Sen. Lisa Murkowski manages to win re-election in Alaska through a write-in bid, would she still caucus with Republicans? Probably, but she seems to like having “a little more flexibility.”

* In Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race, the last Bluegrass poll published several weeks ago showed Rand Paul (R) leading state Attorney General Jack Conway (D) by 15 points. A new Bluegrass poll, published over the weekend, showed the Republican’s lead shrinking to just two points, 49% to 47%.

* In Ohio, Republicans continue to lead both of the key statewide races. The latest Cincinnati Enquirer/Ohio Newspaper Poll shows Rob Portman (R) leading the U.S. Senate race by 15, and John Kasich (R) leading the gubernatorial race by a much closer four-point margin.

* In Florida’s U.S. Senate race, the latest Mason-Dixon poll shows Marco Rubio (R) continuing to pull away while his opponents split the center-left. Rubio now leads with 40% support, followed by Gov. Charlie Crist (I) with 28%. Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) is a close third with 23%.

* In California, the latest L.A. Times/USC poll shows Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) leading her re-election bid by eight, and Jerry Brown (D) leading the gubernatorial race by five.

* Iowa’s gubernatorial race is quickly turning into a one-sided contest, with former Gov. Terry Branstad (R) leading incumbent Gov. Chet Culver (D) by 19 points in the latest Des Moines Register Iowa Poll, 52% to 33%.

* Massachusetts’ gubernatorial race is heating up in a big way, with a new Boston Globe poll showing incumbent Gov. Deval Patrick (D) leading Charlie Baker (R) by just one point, 35% to 34%. Independent Tim Cahill is third with 11%.

* On a related note, Cahill is shedding key staffers, but he’s vowing to stay in the race.

* The latest Star-Tribune poll shows Mark Dayton (D) leading Minnesota’s gubernatorial race, enjoying a nine-point lead over Tom Emmer (R), 39% to 30%. Independent Tom Horner is a competitive third with 18%. support

* And in Michigan*, former Rep. Tim Walberg (R), hoping to return to Congress this year, is apparently a Birther. Asked last week whether the president is a natural-born citizen, Walberg said, “You know, I don’t know, I really don’t know. We don’t have enough information about this president.”

* fixed

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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.