ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

California Rep. Chris Cox yesterday called for an investigation into the purported National Guard documents about President Bush aired by CBS. LINK

The Hill's Hans Nichols Notes, "Congressional Democrats, without explicitly rallying to Rather's defense, accused Republicans of attempting to intimidate the media and change the subject." LINK

Meanwhile, Maureen Dowd writes about the "pre-emptive paranoia" that Republicans and Karl Rove are behind the documents. LINK

Wall Street Journal 's editorial board thinks "the liberal media establishment has ceased to set the U.S. political agenda." No real explanation of the paper's citation of the actions of ABC News and the Washington Post , but that's OK.

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush v. Kerry:

Who's to blame? Sen. Kerry insists it's President Bush. To blame for what? It's "the excuse presidency," which is to say — everything! LINK

"Kerry losing women's support," reads Jeff Zeleny's headline in the Chicago Tribune. LINK

Zeleny writes, "In conversations with women this week in Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio, security was cited as one of the chief issues in the campaign. Several voters recall how they felt after the Sept. 11 attacks and the more recent school takeover in Russia."

The Bush convention bounce has all but dissipated, according to a new Harris Interactive poll. The phone poll, taken Sep. 9-13, shows Kerry leading Bush 48 percent to 47 percent and that "a slender 51% to 45% majority doesn't believe that Mr. Bush deserves to be re-elected." LINK

Ralph Z. Hallow of the Washington Times Notes Bush's increasing lead in battleground states and Kerry's decreasing support in key groups: "John Kerry is losing support among Democrats, independents, women, Catholics and veterans, all of whom helped give President Bush the Post -convention bounce he got — and still holds — in many polls. " LINK

Which means of course that the race will tighten (even more) if Kerry can get that support back.

Wall Street Journal 's John Wilke looks at the Chamber of Commerce's ad campaigns. "In about 25 states, the business-advocacy group is targeting candidates for attorney general and supreme-court justice who are seen as opposed to legal overhaul or other business interests."

AP's Liz Sidoti reports on the Democrats' attempts to court blacks and Hispanics in battleground state cities and details an anti-abortion ad criticizing Democrats that asks 'Why don't they want our children?'" LINK

Dean David Broder takes an excellent look at a quieter form of criticism of the Iraq war during a Max Cleland event in New Hampshire. LINK

The Washington Post 's Paul Farhi seems to think that the press traveling with the candidates ought to actually have access to them or something. What nerve. LINK

We pause for a moment to allow this irony break (bold and italics ours): "Advisers to both candidates say potential gaffes are not the reason they avoid news conferences — rather it is the risk of losing control of the scripted daily message. Kerry's aides are concerned that if he says something newsworthy at a news conference, he will crowd out the issues that the campaign is trying to push. By limiting media access to Kerry, the campaign ensures that Kerry's planned statements receive prominence in the daily news cycle."

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