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4 days until the Republican convention 68 days until election day

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A Note Quiz!!!

Bush campaign strategist and polling expert Matthew Dowd would react to the new Los Angeles Times poll showing President Bush moving ahead of Senator Kerry in the horserace (49-46) by saying:

A. "It's a mess."

B. "This shows the nation wants the strong, steady leadership of George W. Bush, not the waffling indecisiveness of John Kerry."

C. "We've always said this is going to be a close race."

D. "Elections are about the future — and John Kerry's past!!!"

(So ends our Quiz … .)

Stuff flowing Bush's way today, besides the echoing effect of the L.A. Times poll:

1. John McCain and the Bush campaign have both suggested in the last 24 hours that Kerry's anti-war protest activity is a legitimate issue — and the press hasn't objected.

2. Bob Novak and Ralph Hallow are going out with a whimper (and not a bang) on their platform bleatings.

3. Karl Rove is a "fantastic" television surrogate.

Stuff flowing Kerry's way today:

1. The poverty numbers.

2. The Wall Street Journal story on inflation.

3. Iraq chaos.

On the day President Bush returns to the hustings for the first time since last Wednesday, the Senators John will try to exploit that new Census Bureau report that is expected to show families are struggling, as measured by their median family income, poverty level, and health insurance. The Census data includes the number of Americans without health care, the topic that Kerry and Edwards will both pound today.

President Bush is in New Mexico with three campaign rallies hours away from an Edwards appearance in the state. Bush rallies in Las Cruces at 11:05 am ET; Farmington at 2:30 pm ET; and Albuquerque at 4:50 pm ET.

Edwards is in Mesilla, NM at 2:00 pm ET, literally miles away from Bush's Las Cruces rally. Watch the — you know the rest of that joke. Edwards then flies to Colorado for a town hall in Pete Coors' hometown at 7:00 pm ET.

Sen. Kerry is has a single event, a town hall at 11:15 am ET in Anoka, MN, before flying to SoCal to raise some money in Santa Monica. He overnights in San Francisco.

DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe releases the Democratic hit-back plan for the Republican convention at an 11:00 am ET press conference in Washington. At the same time RNC Chair Ed Gillespie gives what is being billed as a network camera-worthy keynote speech to the RNC Summer Meeting. Could it involve "Kerry" and "Iraq?" We'll just have to wait and see … .

And Teresa Heinz Kerry and Elizabeth Edwards are both campaign today; Heinz Kerry is in Toledo, OH and Southfield, MI and Edwards is in southern and central Florida.

Tonight, C-SPAN will air the entire April 22, 1971 testimony of a young John Kerry before the Fullbright committee.

Watch it, and watch yesterday's news become tomorrow's news.

And remember again: Brian Lamb might be an historic figure, but Steve Scully is a genius.

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush v. Kerry:

Susan Pinkus and Matthew Dowd can be friends again!

Although the Los Angeles Times poll doesn't show a huge horserace shift, symbolically key is the fact that the president is now ahead, and substantively key is that Senator Kerry has taken some "attribute" hits that seem to flow out of the Swift Boat coverage.

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