Obama still leads in Pennsylvania but his lead has shrunk, another poll suggests a real race in North Dakota and Scott Brown’s wife is taking a bigger role in his campaign.

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* A new Quinnipiac poll has President Obama leading former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney 46 to 40 percent in Pennsylvania. That’s down from the eight point lead Obama had in May. The president is considered far more likable, but Pennsylvanians are split on who would create more jobs.

* Another poll in North Dakota suggests a real Senate race between Rep. Rick Berg (R) and Heidi Heitkamp (D). A survey from the Democratic firm DFM Research gives Heitkamp 45 percent and Berg 44 percent. A recent Mason-Dixon poll had Heitkamp at 47 percent, Berg at 46 percent. Democrat Kent Conrad currently holds the seat, but the state has been trending Republican.

* A new Civil Beat poll in Hawaii finds Rep. Mazie Hirono (D) and former congressman Ed Case in a dead heat for the Democratic nomination, even though the establishment has lined up behind Hirono. Much of Case’s support comes from non-Democrats who plan to vote in the open primary. The Aug. 11 primary winner will face former governor Linda Lingle (R). Caveat: the pollster,  Merriman River Group, has done polling for Case.

* Gail Huff is taking a prominent role in the campaign of her husband, Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.). She’s made two new television ads for him and has now cut a radio ad aimed at women voters. “Scott respects the choices we make,” she says. “He also knows that women, like everyone else, are being squeezed by this bad economy.” Brown faces Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren (D).


* Retired Major General William Enyart is running as a Democrat for Illinois’ 12th district seat, potentially ending a headache for the party. Rep. Jerry Costello (D) is retiring; Democratic nominee Brad Harriman dropped out in May for health reasons. A committee will pick the new nominee; Enyart is not the only Democrat interested. Whoever emerges will face Republican Jason Plummer.

* The Tarrance Group, a Republican pollster, finds in a survey for the anti-government spending group The Public Notice that voters are divided on whether the economy is getting worse (37 percent) or staying the same (35 percent). A majority (59 percent) thinks the government is on the wrong track, and nearly two-thirds of voters are following news on the debt limit. A large majority (70 percent) says the country’s economic situation is extremely or very much affected by the federal debt.

* Former congressman Bill Zeliff endorsed conservative activist Kevin Smith in New Hampshire’s GOP gubernatorial primary. “New Hampshire voters have the opportunity to choose a bold, new leader for governor,” said Zeliff in a statement. Smith faces the better-known Ovide Lamontagne in a primary. Zeliff beat Lamontagne in a 1992 primary; Lamontagne then upset Zeliff in a 1996 gubernatorial primary.

* A federal lawsuit in Nevada would end the state’s decades-old tradition of letting voters register disgust with all their options by choosing “none of the above” in statewide races. Three Republicans are behind the effort, but their motives are as yet unknown.