ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

Though the loss must be heartbreaking for newcomer Jeff Smith — who lost by a small margin — The Note says Chin Up! For an inexperienced candidate you ran an impressive, media savvy, grassroots effort — to have been named one of Howard Dean's dozen and harnessed the power of Internet campaigning so handily — please know that these skills will only serve you well whether you continue in politics or simply use the whole thing to earn street cred with freshmen in your Poli Sci 101 at Washington University.

ABC News Vote 2004: battleground states:

The Albuquerque Journal writes that the Kerry-Edwards visit to the state this weekend "is unusual": the state's "five electoral votes are small potatoes" and "the Kerry-Edwards campaign will be passing up an opportunity for a rally in big-city Albuquerque for events in smaller towns." LINK

The Arizona Republic finds Sen. Kerry received no bump in the state after the convention, but he still trails President Bush by only 3 points in the key battleground state. LINK

The Tampa Tribune asks its readers to Note that the "Bush administration continues to dismantle — albeit quietly — resource protections even during the re-election campaign." LINK

November's election could bring eight changes to the Florida Constitution. LINK

Kerry's campaign says his economic plan would bring 47,000 jobs to New Hampshire, the AP reports. LINK

New Hampshire's hospitals are crying foul over a change in what the state will pay for Medicaid services at their facilities. LINK

Budget cuts in New Hampshire have mental health advocates worried, the AP reports. LINK

Does he or doesn't he? The Charleston Gazette reports West Virginia voters are confused about where Kerry stands on the issue of mountaintop coal removal. Listeners to a Sunday National Public Radio show were told Kerry opposes such mining, but then his campaign refused to say if that is true. LINK

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge visits a first responder training center in West Virginia today, but the Charleston Gazette gives most of its ink to Sen. Robert Byrd and his needling of the Bush Administration's "opposition . . . to increasing funding to train first responders and to buy needed equipment for them." LINK

The Charleston Gazette ed board picks up where Howard Dean left off, asking, "Would the White House try to gain the same advantage by raising fears of an impending massacre?" The editorial then Notes, "Just three months remain until the election. We wonder how many more alarm bells will be rung." LINK

Reaction to budget cuts in West Virginia's welfare payouts to families has been "muted," reports the Charleston Gazette. LINK

The Raleigh News & Observer takes a cautious tone in its editorial on homeland security, simply warning the "White House to resist any temptation to manipulate the release of attention-grabbing security information for political benefit." LINK

The keys to stopping outsourcing of manufacturing jobs are "an educated workforce and a government willing to help speed the regulatory process or help businesses in other ways," a panel in Michigan's Traverse City told key auto executives yesterday. But it all comes back to lawmakers at the federal level, who "need to act to address the uncompetitiveness of this region." LINK

The U.S. auto industry had a good July, reports the Detroit Free Press — not as "boffo" a month as Asian automakers had, but still "good." LINK

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