ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

Sen. John Edwards also continues making campaign stops today, first at front porch event in Beckley, WV at 11:15 am ET . Edwards then speaks at noon in Shoemaker Square also in Beckley, WV.

Ralph Nader visits New York City today and addresses the Campus Anti-War Counter-Convention at Columbia University at 9:00 pm ET.

As for the vote in Florida today:

The Senate races have gotten Nasty with a capital N on both sides.

Mel Martinez, theoretically a centrist and former HUD secretary, attacked McCollum in a mailing by accusing him of being close to gay "extremists" for supporting hate crimes legislation. And Gov. Jeb Bush asked Martinez to pull a television ad that attacks McCollum for his position on hate crimes legislation and stem cell research, which Martinez did. Based on the controversy, the St. Pete Times pulled their endorsement of Martinez. (It should be Noted that McCollum took a hard line against Martinez first.).

If Martinez, formerly chairman of Orange County, wins, he may end up damaged goods. But the White House is more concerned about having a popular Cuban American on the ticket in Florida than just about any other factor. The bare GOP tilt to the U.S. Senate is secondary in their mind.

Betty Castor is favored to defeat Rep. Peter Deutch and other Democrats to win her party's nomination.

We'll be watching the integrity of the vote very closely, as will members of both parties and numerous outside groups. The state of Florida yesterday said that despite a judge's order requiring them to provide what amounts to paper back ups for touch screen machine, an old rule that counts the machine's electronic totals as the official tallies during recounts will remain in place until an appeal wends its way through the courts. Watch for provisional ballot confusion and the vote in counties hit hard by Hurricane Charley.

And Teresa LePore, the supervisor of elections in Palm Beach County, faces a vote to throw her out of office.

Polls open at 7:00 am ET and close at 7:00 pm ET (and 8:00 pm ET in the Panhandle).

And there are no network exit polls, which has two implications:

1. The AP and election officials will have to decide who wins.


Republican National Convention: Tuesday:

The AP's Gearan Notes how Laura Bush earns higher favorability ratings than her husband. LINK

The Boston Globe's Abraham looks at the governor who does things his own way and will appeal to moderate Republicans on this second night of the convention. LINK

Bob Novak posits that the strength of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger could help President Bush win California in November: "If he can boost [Bush] in California, he could single-handedly keep him in the White House." LINK

The San Francisco Chronicle's Carla Marinucci looks at the image and role of Gov. Schwarzenegger, and how his convention appearance could help him go from being political novelty to Republican power player. And it's never too early to stoke the constitutional amendment/presidential bid fires. LINK

"In his 15- to 20-minute starring role before a national audience, a good showing -- and good script -- could help boost the governor's national image and potentially fuel some populist calls for a constitutional amendment that would allow foreign-born U.S. citizens such as the Austrian-born Schwarzenegger to run for president."

Republican National Convention: Bush said what?:

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