ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

And . . . the hotly anticipated ABC News Pennsylvania poll! Proclaiming that the state is "as close as it gets."

Voters in the Keystone State are concerned about the economy which is good for John Kerry, and national security and leadership, which is good for George W. Bush, ABC News' poll found. The head-to-head matchup is basically tied, with 49 percent of likely voters supporting the president and 48 percent supporting the Senator. Add Ralph Nader into the mix, and the numbers become 49-46-2, respectively. LINK

ABC News' Polling Director Gary Langer reports that 21 percent of Pennsylvanians — about 1 in 5 — say they've been contacted by someone from the Bush campaign, and 14 percent say they've been contacted by the Kerry campaign.

He Notes that there are more Democrats than Republicans in the voter pool at this point. Kerry remains competitive on issues including the economy, health care, and education, while Bush finishes stronger on attributes such as security, clarity and leadership. While Kerry holds the edge with registered voters in trust to handle the economy (50 percent to 42 percent), Bush has a 16-point lead on handling terrorism.

Be sure to take a gander at this nugget: 48 percent of registered voters in Pennsylvania say they view President Bush favorably (5 points higher than his unfav rating), and 42 percent say they view Kerry favorably.

And this: "As is the case nationally, Kerry is receiving more of a negative vote than an affirmative one: Fifty-four percent of his supporters in Pennsylvania say they're more against Bush than for Kerry. Among Bush's supporters, by contrast, 81 percent are mainly for him, rather than against Kerry."

The AP's Lara Jakes Jordan reports President Bush is "outhustling" his opponent in Pennsylvania, a state that leans Democrat, as she looks at the ABC News poll and one from Quinnipiac University. LINK

There are several semi-interesting headlines on the Columbus Dispatch's site, including "Bush plan appears to increase deficit more than Kerry's," but the page is being goofy right now and won't link to any articles, which the Columbus Dispatch's webmaster should know puts him or her in the running to unseat the Boston Globe 's Webmaster as The Note's sworn enemy. LINK

The Cincinnati Enquirer's Howard Wilkinson reports on vote rocking in his town. LINK

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Patrick Marley has a headline that should make it into the KE04 scrapbook: "Kerry vows more effective presidency." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the battlegrounds:

The Los Angeles Times' LaGanga surely made some Kerry-Edwards field staffers in Arizona very, very happy this morning with her explanation of why the Grand Canyon State is still in play. LINK

A Minnesota poll by the Minneapolis Star Tribune "shows that the flip-flop label seems to be sticking better to Kerry than the inflexible label is adhering to Bush. Even though the poll shows that Kerry retains a nine-point lead over Bush, half of the state's likely voters believe that Kerry flip-flops on issues." LINK Bill Salisbury of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes up their latest poll, Noting that it does "contrast sharply" with a Wednesday Minnesota poll. It shows Bush leading Kerry 46 percent to 44 percent, with 4 percent margin of error. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: casting and counting:

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