ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

"There is no comparison," says Joseph P. Rugola, an AFSCME international vice president heading GOTV operations in Ohio. " In 2000, You could measure the total of activists in the hundreds."

Ohio AFL-CIO Bill Burga has spent the better part of three years putting this machine together.

The AFL-CIO's efforts don't include America Coming Together's top-secret targeting of middle-of-the-vine fruit. With those weapons in their arsenal, no one wonder the Dems are at least somewhat confident that if it's neck-and-neck in the state on election day, they have a good chance to win.

From the outside:

The New York Times ' Kenneth Chang reports that a new 527 advocacy group, known as Scientists and Engineers for Change "will give talks in 10 contested states: Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia and Wisconsin." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the Big Four battlegrounds: Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin:

In an excellent focus piece, USA Today 's Judy Keen computes, "Simple math explains why Wisconsin is a target." LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's David Rogers reports "The federal price tag for recent hurricanes will exceed $12.2 billion, as President Bush asked Congress for an additional $7.1 billion in emergency funding on top of two prior requests to help stricken areas in Florida and the Southeast." LINK

The Quinnipiac University poll out today shows Senator Kerry leading President Bush among likely voters in Pennsylvania by 3 points — just inside the margin of error: 49 percent for Kerry, 46 percent for Bush. The new numbers represent a slight shift for President Bush, who in the Sept. 16 poll led Kerry, 49 percent to 48 percent. According to Quinnipiac, rising anti-war sentiment is contributing to Kerry's nudging of the numbers, and that sentiment seems to have particularly helped him in the all-important Philadelphia suburbs, according to Quinnipiac. LINK

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Michael Vitel profiles Abington Township, PA — one of the darkest purple towns in the state. LINK

The Chicago Tribune's Mark Silva takes a look at the changing face of Florida: LINK

"As late as two years ago, Amtrak riders could select from five routes that crossed Ohio . . . By next spring, that number will shrink to three with Amtrak's plans to eliminate its Three Rivers train through Ohio, closing stations in Youngstown, Akron and Fostoria," reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. LINK

The Media Fund launches a new ad today in Ohio. The script:

Man wearing hard hat: "I'm not a big Bush fan but what's Kerry going to do that's different?"

VO: "For twenty years, John Kerry has fought for jobs. In the 90's he helped balance the budget that led to 23 million new jobs."

Man wearing hard hat: "I didn't know."

VO: "Under Bush and Cheney Ohio has lost two hundred and thirty thousand jobs while they give no bid contracts to Halliburton."

Man wearing hard hat: "Halliburton."

VO: "Kerry and Edwards will reward companies who keep jobs at home and rebuild a strong middle class for a stronger more secure America."

Man wearing hard hat: "That is a big difference."

VO: "Learn more about the Kerry Edwards plan at facts 4 Ohio dot com. The Media Fund is responsible for the content of this ad."

ABC News Vote 2004: the battlegrounds:

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