ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

The Washington Post 's editorial board shakes its head at the state of the health care debate between the two campaigns. We'd like to point out, however, that despite the distortions and the political ads that "stretch the truth," at least they're talking about an issue. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

The President is in Minnesota today for two rallies and a "Focus on Health with President Bush" event. Per campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel, President Bush will talk with a community health center representative, a senior with a Medicare-approved Prescription Drug Card and a beneficiary of a health savings account at the health care event.

Vice President Cheney heads to Albuquerque, NM for a breakfast roundtable and a rally in Reno, NV. Here's your tease — keep your ears open for the Vice President to talk about another failed attempt by Sen. Kerry to explain his position on Iraq.

The New York Daily News reports President Bush is "eroding" John Kerry's advantage in New York with BC04 deploying the FLOTUS to Jersey to further test the waters. A new Marist poll shows Kerry's 18-point advantage in New York has slipped — and he now leads Bush 48 percent to 40 percent. While New York remains Blue as can be, a Quinnipiac poll gives Kerry a mere 47-to-41 lead. LINK

AP previews Laura Bush's visit to New Jersey. LINK

The Washington Post 's Mike Allen writes of President Bush's "unusual rebuke" of Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday. LINK

At an event for Hispanic Heritage Month, President Bush expressed concern for Putin's decision on elections in Russia. Bush said that the decision to not have a popular vote for governors in regions in Russia "could undermine democracy in Russia."

The Washington Post 's Wright and Ricks write that the administration plans to use Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's visit to the United States next week to mount a "vigorous election-year defense of its troubled Iraq policy." LINK

Vice President Cheney and his staff refused to answer the Los Angeles Times' questions about the Veep's draft deferments. LINK

The Washington Post 's Alan Cooperman writes long and bold that while President Bush's general faith is well documented, not even the president's aides know its details, including "whether the president believes that: the Bible is without error; the theory of evolution is true; homosexuality is a sinful choice; only Christians will go to heaven; support for Israel is a biblical imperative; or the war in Iraq is part of God's plan." LINK

Helen Kennedy of the New York Daily News Notes the Bush twins made their campaign trail debut in De Pere, WI, yesterday, urging college students to throw political shindigs for their dad, urging students to put their "party planning skills to good work," by throwing one for their father. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Kerry-Edwards '04:

AP's Nedra Pickler wraps Sen. Kerry's day yesterday: LINK

Elisabeth Bumiller is on the Kerry trail and wraps the Senator's criticisms of the president's economic policies. LINK

Wall Street Journal 's Jacob Schlesinger also looks at Kerry taking aim at President Bush, and reports that "Voters will hear a lot more in coming weeks about" Enron and Halliburton.

The Washington Post 's Jim VandeHei leads with Kerry slamming Bush on Iraq, calling the president dishonest about the insurgency and endangering the likelihood of free and fair Iraqi elections. LINK

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