Campaign update: Grayson leads Ky. Senate, Fla. polls and appointees

-A new SurveyUSA Senate poll in Kentucky shows GOP Secretary of State Trey Grayson leading state Attorney General Jack Conway 44-37 and Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo 46-40. But the most surprising part of the poll might be the fact that Rand Paul, the son of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), trails Grayson just 37-26 in the GOP primary. Still, it's also noteworthy that Grayson has turned Sen. Jim Bunning's (R-Ky.) deficit into a lead for the Republicans. But that's not all that surprising in a red state. On the Democratic side, Mongiardo leads Conway 39-31. Paul trails both in the general election by small margins.

-State Rep. Beth Coulson is the big GOP name in the race to replace Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). This is a solid get for Republicans in what will be a very tough seat to hold.

-Another poll shows Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum (R) opening a lead on state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink (D) in his state's governor's race. After a Chamber of Commerce poll this week showed him up 43-34, a Quinnipiac poll now shows him up 38-34. That's after Sink led by the same count in a previous version of the poll. This is perhaps the biggest 2010 governor's race in the country, so keep an eye on it.

(Note: the poll also showed former state House Speaker Marco Rubio continuing to trail by around 30 points in his GOP Senate primary against Gov. Charlie Crist. His 55-26 deficit is virtually the same as it was in June. On the Democratic side, Rep. Kendrick Meek still leads an undeveloped primary with 18 percent.)

-Crist to meet with state Rep. Jennifer Carroll and University of North Florida President John Delaney as he weighs his options for appointing a replacement for Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.). Others earning the governor's personal attention are former U.S. Attorney Bobby Martinez and former Florida Secretary of State Jim Smith. I would handicap, but recent Senate appointment history has convinced me that we rarely know where these things are headed. Still, if he's talking to someone directly, that certainly says something.

UPDATE: Crist has also requested questionnaires from former chief of staff George LeMieux and Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.).

-New Jersey GOP gubernatorial nominee Chris Christie (R) admits that he should have disclosed a $46,000 loan to a former staffer from his time as U.S. attorney. Anytime an apology is this lengthy, it's probably not a good sign for his campaign.

-Maryland state Sen. E.J. Pipkin (R) doesn't seem to be in any hurry to enter the race against Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-Md.). Such is your luxury when you are personally wealthy. Pipkin even suggested he could wait until next year. The dilemma this time is whether to give up his state Senate seat, which is something he didn't confront last time. If he ran, he would challenge fellow state Sen. Andy Harris in a primary.

-Just to be clear, indicted Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki (R) will not be running for Senate. Krolicki had formed an exploratory committee, but he was indicted shortly thereafter and hasn't made much noise since then. Now, it turns out, he will run for reelection to his current post while a series of little-known GOPers line up for the right to face Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.