ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

The federal government this past week reported slower GDP growth in the second quarter and a sharp drop in consumer spending in June, comporting with lower confidence at that time. As Noted, confidence since has advanced sharply. The survey is based on Americans' perceptions of their personal finances, the buying climate, and the national economy.

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

The New York Times ' David Halbfinger wraps Senator Kerry's impromptu stop in Cuba City, Wis., a city which "has never actually seen a president in the flesh, and the flash of Mr. Bush that a few glimpsed left even Republicans here nursing a grudge." LINK

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reviews Kerry's stop yesterday in Wisconsin, where he "placed the nation's economy and the middle class back on center stage of his presidential campaign." LINK

Noelle Straub of the Boston Herald writes that Senator Kerry's speech in Wisconsin yesterday "left some in the audience questioning how he could pay for all his proposals and still balance the budget." LINK

The front page news in the Columbus Dispatch is that Techneglass is "putting 1,100 out of work" in Columbus and Perrysburg, Ohio, and Pittston, Pa. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Show me the vote!: Wall-to-wall coverage of the Show-Me State's primary.

Matt Franck reports that Missouri followed in the footsteps of Alaska, Hawaii, Nebraska, and Nevada when voters resoundingly passed a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage yesterday by a more than 2-to-1 margin. The Missouri Constitution will now state that "to be valid and recognized in this state a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman.'' LINK

"People don't want to see in Missouri what happened in Massachusetts," says Vicky Hartzler, spokeswoman for the Coalition to Protect Marriage in Missouri. LINK

Virginia Young reports on Claire McCaskill's defeat of Gov. Bob Holden for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. McCaskill ousted Holden with a 5-percent margin. McCaskill and Holden plan to have a private unity breakfast this morning in the St. Louis area. Much of McCaskill's appeal was her chance of holding her own against Secretary of State Matt Blunt in November. Conventional Wisdom was that McCaskill would make a more competitive opponent against Blunt. LINK

The Kansas City Star 's Kit Wagar reports, "Holden's defeat marks the first time in state history that a sitting governor was ousted by a challenger within his own party. Speaking to supporters at a St. Louis union hall, Holden urged Democrats to put the often bitter primary campaign behind them." LINK

William Lhotka and Jo Mannies report that there was great turnout and "few glitches" for voters, though Senator Kit Bond "went to vote at his polling place of more than 40 years, but officials there couldn't find his name on the list of eligible voters." LINK

Kim Bell reports that voters knocked down a proposal to allow riverboat gambling in one part of the state. LINK

Kansas City Star : LINK

Jo Mannies reports that Russ Carnahan, son of former Senator Jean Carnahan and the late Gov. Mel Carnahan, will likely be the Democratic nominee in the race to succeed Rep. Dick Gephardt. Mannies Notes Carnahan entered the contest with the most name recognition and cash — and he got a last minute boost from abortion-rights groups and a number of area African-American officials that endorsed him and made a last minute push on his behalf. LINK

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