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.

* Rep. Mike Castle (R) has announced that he will not run as a write-in Senate candidate this year. The decision improves Newcastle County Executive Chris Coons’ (D) odds over Christine O’Donnell (R).

* After making crackdowns on illegal immigration a key part of her campaign, California Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman acknowledged yesterday she paid an undocumented worker to be her maid for nine years.

* On a related note, Whitman trails Jerry Brown (D) in a new Time/CNN poll, 52% to 43%, though she leads the Democratic nominee by one in a Public Policy Institute of California poll, 38% to 37%.

* Speaking of California, the new Time/CNN poll shows Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) leading Carly Fiorina (R), 52% to 43%, among likely voters. The Public Policy Institute of California poll also shows Boxer ahead, but by a smaller 42% to 35% margin.

* In Illinois, the new Time/CNN poll shows Alexi Giannoulias (D) leading Rep. Mark Kirk (R) by one point among likely voters in this year’s Senate race, 43% to 42%. Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones has 8% support in the poll.

* And speaking of Illinois, the same poll shows Bill Brady (R) leading Gov. Pat Quinn (D) in this year’s gubernatorial race, but by a smaller margin that most other recent polls, 40% to 38%.

* In New York, Republican gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino yesterday accused Andrew Cuomo (D) of adultery, despite not having proof, and despite the fact that Paladino had a daughter with his mistress. This came shortly before Paladino threatened violence against a New York reporter.

* How offensive is Sharron Angle’s (R) anti-immigrant ad in Nevada? One of her own spokespeople, acting in her personal capacity, denounced the commercial.

* In Florida’s U.S. Senate race, the new Time/CNN poll shows Marco Rubio (R) continuing to expand his lead over Gov. Charlie Crist (I), 42% to 31%, Rep. Kendrick Meek is third with 23%. A new Quinnipiac poll shows Rubio with an even bigger lead, 46% to 33%, over Crist.

* And while campaigns featuring write-in campaigns are notoriously difficult to poll, the new Time/CNN poll of Alaska’s U.S. Senate race shows Joe Miller (R) leading Sen. Lisa Murkowski among likely voters, 38% to 36%. Democrat Scott McAdams (D) is third with 22%.