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.

* Despite any rumors you may have heard to the contrary, Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) insists he will “absolutely not” end his U.S. Senate campaign in Florida. There’s some evidence to suggest Meek’s unlikely withdrawal might help prevent Republican Marco Rubio from winning the open seat.

* West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D), slipping in his once-safe U.S. Senate campaign against right-wing Floridian John Raese (R), is moving quickly to the right. In a new TV ad, Manchin literally targets a cap-and-trade bill with a rifle, and he’s also now open to repealing the entire Affordable Care Act.

* In Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race, another independent poll shows a competitive contest, with extremist ophthalmologist Rand Paul (R) leading state Attorney General Jack Conway (D) in a Braun Research poll, 43.4% to 39.5% among likely voters.

* In Alaska, extremist Senate candidate Joe Miller (R)* believes Medicaid benefits are unconstitutional — unless he’s the one receiving Medicaid benefits.

* Massachusetts’ gubernatorial race has taken an ugly turn, with independent Timothy Cahill turning the campaign “into a courtroom thriller, complete with charges of espionage, conspiracy and subterfuge.”

* In Florida’s gubernatorial race, the latest Mason-Dixon poll shows state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink (D) leading disgraced former health care executive Rick Scott (R), 44% to 40%.

* Michigan’s gubernatorial race appears to be all but over, with the latest EPIC MRA poll showing Rick Snyder (R) leading Virg Bernero (D) by 20 points, 49% to 29%.

* And in Texas’ 17th, a key House race this year, Rep. Chet Edwards’ (D) Republican challenger, who has based much of his campaign on opposition to taxpayer-financed bailouts, “once led his company through a bankruptcy that let it avoid a $7.5 million debt to the U.S. government.” The GOP candidate, Bill Flores, also appears to have lied about having repaid all of his debts.

*Party affiliation corrected