ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

"Bush's campaign spent an estimated $4.4 million from Aug. 1 through Aug. 7 and received almost no advertising help from outside groups."

The Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman looks at both campaigns' efforts to accommodate -- and court -- local media. The upsides: avoid the annoying national media, talk to the outlets where more voters get their news, and possibly easier questions. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: casting and counting:

Zack V. Dempsey might well be the biggest post 11/2 race in Florida... LINK

The AP reports some Missouri soldiers in Iraq were unable to vote last week because of late absentee ballots. Secretary of State Matt Blunt's office is looking into it. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: The Big Four: Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin:

The Cincinnati Enquirer's Howard Wilkinson reports that the Veterans of Foreign Wars will open their annual convention in Cincinnati this weekend and writes, "Little wonder that John Kerry will speak to them next week, and President Bush's campaign is carefully considering an invitation." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the battlegrounds:

The Media Fund will expand its television ad buy to four more states today: Iowa, Oregon, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. This will put them on the air in a total of nine states right now.

The Kerry campaign announced Monday their schedule for the Kerry's stop in Oregon later this week, reports KGW's Jim Parker. The stop coincides with a Bush visit to the state. LINK

The Oregonian's Jeff Mapes gives a solid write-up of exactly what grassroots efforts in Oregon look like. LINK

Bush and Kerry supporters hosted dueling press conferences yesterday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, reports the Manchester Union Leader's Jody Record. LINK

What do three characters named Phil T. Rich, Pam Perd and Seymour Benjamins have to do with the election? More than you might imagine -- especially in battleground states like Michigan, reports the AP. LINK

Dare we use the "pessimism" word? Detroit Free Press columnist Tom Walsh says this morning that contrary to what a certain presidential candidate says, Michigan's economy is "half empty." LINK

The number of protesters at First Lady Laura Bush's rally in Royal Oak, MI, yesterday? A grand total of two. LINK

The Detroit Free Press says the First Lady's trip to Royal Oak had one aim: to "narrow the gender gap." LINK

Thousands of retirees and coal miners in West Virginia will lose their health benefits and union contracts after a bankruptcy judge ruled that Horizon Natural Resources can void the collective bargaining agreement it had in place. LINK

MoveOn and its concerts aren't coming to West Virginia, but the Rev. Jesse Jackson is. The Huntington Herald-Dispatch reports that the Reinvest in America campaign and the Kanawha Valley Labor Council will co-sponsor a free all-day event Sept. 6 on the Charleston riverfront that features Willie Nelson, Judy Collins, Indigo Girls, and, among others, the inimitable Rev. Jesse Jackson. LINK

Paul Wilson of the Charleston Gazette writes about the intricacies of West Virginia's economy, Noting that it usually fluctuates less than the national economy and that "many of the losses in West Virginia -- particularly in coal and manufacturing -- would have happened regardless of the national recession." LINK

Former Ambassador to the U.N. Richard Holbrooke toured Portland, Maine's port cargo facilities yesterday on Sen. Kerry's behalf, reports the AP. LINK

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