ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jo Mannies explores Kerry's recent decision to decrease Show-Me state advertising beyond Matthew Dowd's claim that the Kerry folks are not hopeful for victory there. LINK

" … Kerry decided to temporarily pull most of his ads because of the heavy TV spending by both Holden and McCaskill, who are 'saturating the airwaves,' as one source said. Kerry also canceled plans for a pre-convention stop here later this week, those sources say, to stay out of the McCaskill-Holden line of fire."

In spite of a blitz of "get-out-the-vote efforts aimed at young adults" in Ohio, the Toledo Blade finds many young voters remain "turned off." LINK

Not quite a must-read, but the Cincinnati Enquirer takes a fun look at the plight of those in Ohio who share the last names — and sometimes first names as well — of the president and other major candidates. LINK

The next Stark County? Akron Beacon Journal reporter Lisa Abraham Notes that Ohio's Summit County houses a good lot of undecided voters, making it yet another "ground zero" in the election. LINK

Many of the newest voters in Columbus — yet another key area in the Buckeye State — are in "Democratic strongholds," Notes the Columbus Dispatch.

But in Medina County, a more conservative area of Ohio, Republicans are finding successes as well. LINK

If what's important to Ohio's voters is what's important to the state's delegation to the Democratic convention, then the economy is the greatest concern in the state, followed by health care, education, Iraq, and terrorism. At the bottom of the list? Values. LINK

And the economy's not looking uniformly good in Ohio: on Friday, the latest figures for the state showed 14,300 jobs lost in June, with an unemployment rate that rose to 5.8 percent. LINK

The Associated Press previews the Vice President's stop in Toledo today, where the topic du jour will be health care costs. Reporter John Seewer leads with the voters in the area who believe drug prices are currently "outrageous." LINK

The Columbus Dispatch wrote over the weekend that there are growing concerns among those in the state GOP that the party's growing fundraising scandal could taint the president at Ohio's polls in November. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports some have taken to calling the scandal "Ohio's Watergate." LINK

The Dems in Arizona pushed back strong over the weekend in response to polling numbers in this southwest battleground. Last week, the Arizona Republic reported two new polls showing Sen. Kerry as much as 10 points behind the President in Arizona. Democrats, insisting this is a battleground and should not be claimed by Republicans yet, pointed to new unreleased numbers from a phone survey done by Democratic pollster Celinda Lake. According to the Lake poll (conducted Monday-Wednesday of last week), 500 likely and registered voters went 49 percent for Bush, 44 percent for Kerry, 2 percent other, and 5 percent undecided, with a +/- 4 percent margin of error.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, "All but one middle school in Palm Beach County failed to meet the state's new high standards for reading, forcing them to put a major focus on improving students' reading skills in the coming months." LINK

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