ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

Reducing its ad buys in Arizona may have been a prescient move for the Kerry campaign: a new statewide Rocky Mountain Poll shows the president with a 10-point advantage over the Senator. The Arizona Republic speculates the reasons for the widening gap range from "an improving Arizona economy, to voters' growing faith in Bush's consistency of policy, to Kerry's announcement in Phoenix that he would make immigration reform an early priority of his administration." LINK

Another new Arizona poll, conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of KVOA-TV, comes to a similar conclusion, with the president up by 12 points. LINK

The Arizona unemployment rate dropped from 5.1 percent in May to 4.7 percent last month. But that's not the full story, as the state's economy actually lost 31,000 jobs over the course of the month. But even that's not the full story, since many of the lost jobs were seasonal ones expected to return in the fall. LINK

The Phoenix Business Journal adds that most of the new jobs in Arizona were in the construction business, which is still booming, while the manufacturing sector continued to shed workers. LINK

Pessimism? Or realism? The Reno Gazette-Journal takes an interesting look at falling gas prices and concludes that it isn't worth celebrating because "the downward trend probably won't last." LINK

The presumptive Democratic nominee's wife spent time yesterday in a Seattle cancer center and "mostly asked questions, softly and specifically." Oh, and Teresa Heinz Kerry also managed to get in a few digs at the Bush Administration — the "least scientific administration in history." LINK and LINK

After dining with James Connaughton, chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality, Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist Joel Connelly doesn't buy the Bush environmental plan, dismissing it as a "case not often heard in this green corner of the country: Americans can have their cake and eat it too." LINK

The Charleston Gazette writes up yesterday's visit by Sen. Kerry, Noting that "unlike last week's speech" in the state, yesterday "the crowd roared at Kerry's blistering attack on the president's war policies." The war is especially relevant, the Gazette adds, given the state's 200,000 veterans. LINK

The Huntington Herald-Dispatch estimates the crowd at yesterday's Charleston stop to be in the neighborhood of 7,200, a figure which includes two Marshall University students who "spoke as if they had just seen their favorite rock band." LINK

West Virginia's T-shirt saga is over: a judge dismissed charges against a couple who had been arrested and charged with trespassing for wearing anti-Bush shirts at the president's Fourth of July stop in Charleston. LINK

The Charleston Police Chief's reaction? "If we had it to do again, we would file [charges] in state court." LINK

Today's visit by the president to Beckley, W.Va. (the first presidential visit ever to the city!) is a sell-out. LINK

In spite of numerous rallies by the candidates themselves, many in West Virginia are verifying the "all politics is local" adage, with hundreds of people throughout the state hosting house parties for each major candidate this summer. LINK

The Toledo Blade confirms Vice President Cheney will return to Ohio on Monday to talk about health care costs at the Medical College of Ohio. LINK

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