ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

And Kerry picks up Ohio, New Hampshire, and West Virginia?

The electoral vote total would be: Bush 271 vs. Kerry 267

BUT — assuming passage of Colorado's ballot initiative that awards electoral votes in accordance with the statewide popular vote — Kerry actually wins 271 vs. 267 (inevitable court challenges notwithstanding).

That Colorado ballot initiative is a free 4 electoral-vote bonus in KE04's pocket . . .

Let us explicitly add the obvious — and most important — point: Without Ohio or Florida in Kerry's column, he will most likely not be taking the oath of office on the west steps of the Capitol next January.

And holding all of the 2000 Blue states is not a given at this point.

Both President Bush and Senator Kerry are down for debate prep: Bush at his Crawford ranch and Kerry in Spring Green, WI.

Vice President Cheney and Lynne Cheney host a town hall meeting at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, IA (1:40 pm ET) and participate in a Victory 2004 rally at Choice Products USA in Eau Claire, WI (6:20 pm ET).

First Lady Laura Bush speaks at a rally at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, OR (4:30 pm ET) and another rally at Henderson Pavilion in Henderson, NV (8:10 pm ET).

Senator Edwards participates in a town hall meeting at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA (11:00 am ET), attends a rally at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, NJ (5:15 pm ET), and attends a fundraising reception at the Hilton Hotel in East Brunswick, NJ (7:50 pm ET).

Ralph Nader speaks at Carefree Theatre in West Palm Beach, FL (8:00 pm ET).

Following their appearance on "Fox and Friends," Elizabeth Edwards hosts a town hall discussion with "Moms on a Mission" at the VFW Post 9916 in Westover, WV (10:00 am ET) and participates in a roundtable discussion with community members at the Food and Friends Diner in Lewisburg, WV (2:15 pm ET).

The Senate resumes debate of the intelligence reform bill.

The Clash in Coral Gables:

The Commission on Presidential Debates: "No" to signing a document, "yes" to enforcing its stipulations. And the Bush campaign is (on the record and) pleased, all per the New York Times . LINK

"Still, officials of the debate commission said they were agreeing primarily to those things Mr. Bush's aides had emphasized as especially important to them: a strict time limit on candidate responses, an electronic warning when candidates exceed their speaking time that can be seen and heard by viewers at home, and a prohibition against the candidates' directly posing questions to each other."

"One official said the commission would probably not abide by the agreement's stipulation that the audience at the Oct. 8 town-hall-style debate in Missouri be composed of people who are 'soft supporters' of Mr. Kerry and Mr. Bush, meaning they had not solidly made up their minds but were leaning one way or another. The commission had proposed that the audience be filled with strictly undecided voters. "

"But a senior Bush campaign official noted that the commission said in its statement, 'There will be no departure from the terms of the memorandum without prior consultation with and approval by the appropriate campaign representatives.'"

"'I'm unaware of any such prior approval or consultation,'' said the official, who said he expected the point to be worked out between the parties."

So it seems not quite done to us, maybe, perhaps, sort of.

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