ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

Confirming the Nader campaign's optimism, Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel previews the Nader Factor's new ad and reports Wisconsin Democratic Party chair Linda Honold will "scrutinize" Nader's petitions to make sure the names are valid. "If he can get on the ballot legally, that's great. But we want to make sure the people of the state of Wisconsin actually want him on the ballot." LINK

Despite setbacks, things are looking good for Nader to appear on most of the battleground ballots.

Tyler Whitley of the Richmond Times-Dispatch writes Nader has reason to hope he'll make the ballot in Virginia. "A spokesman for Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore said yesterday that his office made the decision that denied Nader a spot on the ballot based on misleading information provided by the State Board of Elections." LINK

A new study by the Center for Responsive politics found Republican gift-giving represents only about 4 percent of the $1.5 million Nader has raised. LINK

The politics of national security:

The Washington Post 's Dan Eggan calls Sen. Pat Roberts' promise to unveil legislation that would break up the CIA "radical." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the Senate:

"The Democratic race for U.S. Senate has seen its first large-scale negative ad, with U.S. Rep. Peter Deutsch attacking former University of South Florida President Betty Castor for her handling of a terror suspect. The television ad running since Saturday in Tampa and Orlando markets opens with a black screen and two voices whispering about the secret no one in the Democratic primary is supposed to talk about: front-runner Castor's biggest vulnerability, former USF engineering Professor Sami Al-Arian." LINK

McGreevey: what's next:

The Washington Post 's Finkel and Faler wrap Sen. John Corzine's comments yesterday in which he walked the thin line between respecting Gov. James McGreevey's decision to delay his resignation and putting himself forward as the alternative candidate. LINK

Pataki: what's next:

Fred Dicker of the New York Post almost feigns surprise when he writes of George Pataki's potential presidential ambitions for 2008. LINK

TODAY'S SCHEDULE (all times ET):

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