Wednesday’s campaign round-up

WEDNESDAY’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.

* New York’s Republican gubernatorial nominee, Carl Paladino, has assembled a team of criminals to help run his statewide campaign.

* Ohio’s gubernatorial race is getting more and more competitive all the time. A new Reuters poll shows former Rep. John Kasich (R) leading incumbent Gov. Ted Strickland (D) by just one point, while a new New York Times/CBS News poll shows a similar result, with Kasich up 43% to 42%.

* Ohio’s U.S. Senate race, however, is not following a similar pattern. Former Bush Budget Director Rob Portman (R) with a double-digit lead over Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D) in the New York Times/CBS News poll, 45% to 34%. A Reuters poll shows Portman up by a similar margin, 50% to 37%.

* Could a Green Party candidate in Illinois end up giving Republicans control of the U.S. Senate? Maybe. New results from Public Policy Polling show Rep. Mark Kirk (R) leading Alexi Giannoulias (D) in Illinois’ U.S. Senate, 40% to 36%. Despite Giannoulias running as a progressive Dem, Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones garnered 8% support, and may help hand Kirk the seat by splitting the left.

* Maryland’s gubernatorial race appeared to be surprisingly competitive, but a new Washington Post poll shows incumbent Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) leading former Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) by 11, 52% to 41%.

* In Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race, the latest Suffolk poll shows Rep. Joe Sestak (D) gaining a bit on former Rep. Pat Toomey (R), with the Democrat now trailing by just five, 45% to 40%.

* In Florida’s U.S. Senate race, the Florida Democratic Party has released a fairly devastating new ad targeting Gov. Charlie Crist (I), highlighting some of the more conservative things he’s said in recent years. With so much of Crist’s support coming from Democrats, the ad is likely to hurt Crist’s chances of catching up with Marco Rubio (R).

* Speaking of Rubio, the Republican Senate nominee in Florida supports English-only policies. He’s also running a new television ad entirely in Spanish.

* Connecticut’s Senate race is getting more competitive, and a new Quinnipiac poll shows the gubernatorial race tightening, too — Dan Malloy (D) now leads Tom Foley (R) by just three, 45% to 42%.

* And in Minnesota, a Minnesota Public Radio-Humphrey Institute poll shows former Sen. Mark Dayton (D) up by double digits over Tom Emmer (R) in this year’s gubernatorial race, 38% to 27%. The Independence Party’s Tom Horner is a competitive third with16%