ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

The Manchester Union Leader has relatively good news for New Hampshire. LINK

Plenty of other battleground state papers lead with the census reports: LINK and LINK

Republican National Convention: politics:

David Brooks goes searching for the Republican Party image and how it will be reinvented going forward. In a sneak peak of what will be hitting your doorsteps and newsstands this weekend in the New York Times Magazine, Brooks describes the state of affairs in the Grand Old Party.

And, you guessed it, it is a must read.

"There used to be a spirit of solidarity binding all the embattled members of the conservative movement. But with conservatism ascendant, that spirit has eroded. Should Bush lose, it will be like a pack of wolves that suddenly turns on itself. The civil war over the future of the party will be ruthless and bloody. The foreign-policy realists will battle the democracy-promoting Reaganites. The immigrant-bashing nativists will battle the free marketeers. The tax-cutting growth wing will battle the fiscally prudent deficit hawks. The social conservatives will war with the social moderates, the biotech skeptics with the biotech enthusiasts, the K Street corporatists with the tariff-loving populists, the civil libertarians with the security-minded Ashcroftians. In short, the Republican Party is unstable."

Watch for mentions of this at the convention: The New York Times ' Julia Preston reports that a federal judge in New York on Thursday declared the late-term abortion ban unconstitutional because it has no provision for the mother's health. LINK

Republican National Convention: platform:

The New York Times ' David Kirkpatrick writes that the platform draft that passed yesterday was met with grumbling by both liberals and conservatives who argued with the attempts to control access to the platform draft and tamp down lobbying members of the platform committee. LINK

The Washington Post 's Chuck Babington reports that Republican platform writers "easily squelched all serious dissent" during the platform debates yesterday. LINK

If the primetime speakers resemble the moderate wing of the party, the more conservative Republicans may be able to find solace in the party's platform which has been voted out of committee and will be presented to the delegates on Monday, the Los Angeles Times says. LINK

Republican National Convention: protests and security:

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows 66 percent of city voters believe the protests will be a major disruption. Eleven percent plan to participate in one. More key findings: LINK

The New York Times ' Janny Scott and Marjorie Connelly write up a local Times/CBS poll that shows New Yorkers before the Republican convention are "like reluctant hosts wishing the party were in someone else's house," 53 percent of which are "very or somewhat worried" about a terrorist attack. LINK

To all of you heading to New York for the convention: just how safe do you feel? Well, the AP's Hays could put some of your fears at bay today. Not only do the police and Secret Service got your back, but "The EPA and dozens of other federal, state and local agencies were drafted by the Secret Service to play largely behind-the-scenes roles in a security plan that is considered unprecedented in its size and scope." LINK

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