ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

Attention print reporters and television news producers who are wondering how many stories they can get out of Ohio this year:

"And every four years, opinion here commands special attention because Missouri voters have picked every presidential winner since 1900--except in 1956, when their unerring ballot magic deserted them and they supported, by an electoral eyelash, Adlai Stevenson over President Dwight Eisenhower."

"Missouri is so often right in presidential elections because Missouri is so much like so many parts of America. It mirrors the nation--one part Dixie, one part industrial Detroit, a bit of Great Plains conservatism and a dash of the get-the-government-off-my-back-and-cut-my-taxes West."

Over the last two weeks, the Kerry campaign outspent the Bush camp on Missouri TV ads by $420,018 to $8,370, reports the AP. LINK

Halfway across the country, Commerce Secretary Don Evans stopped in Kansas City to report that the U.S. economy is "as strong is as he has seen it." LINK

Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian candidate for president, visited Kansas City on Thursday and gets a long write-up in today's Kansas City Star. LINK

On the heels of yesterday's visit by RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie to a black Baptist church in Cleveland, the Plain Dealer reports that Democrats do not "have a lock" on Ohio's black vote. LINK

The Senators on the Democratic ticket are trying to "fashion a kitchen-table campaign for the White House," says Mark Silva in the Florida Sun-Sentinel. LINK

"The states of Washington and Oregon announced Thursday that they will sue the federal government if it continues to refuse to assess the environmental damage caused by decades of bomb making at the Hanford nuclear site in eastern Washington," reports the Washington Post's Blaine Harden. LINK

Hmm. Democrats in Nevada yesterday rallied in opposition to the Yucca Mountain Project, saying that "stopping Yucca Mountain is as easy as going to the voting booth and voting for Kerry-Edwards." But as Erin Neff Notes in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Edwards supported the project. LINK

Ameristar Casinos are collecting signatures needed to call for a referendum in November to allow a new riverboat casino in Des Moines, the Des Moines Register reports. LINK

New Hampshire sees an improvement in the labor market with the number of people with jobs rising in June to 1,240, the highest monthly increase in 2004, reports the Nashua Telegraph. LINK

The Union Leader reports Manchester, N.H. is one of six communities that have beat the recession. Other cities named: Jacksonville, Fla.; Sugarland, Texas; Reno, Nev.; Phoenix, Ariz., and Naperville, Ill. LINK

The Arizona Republic reports that abortion, gay marriage, and budget battles "have sparked a civil war within the Arizona Republican Party," without Noting the potential consequences of this for November's presidential election. LINK

This week's Arizona Governor's Conference on Tourism had a mix of good and bad news about Arizona's tourism industry, a central component of the battleground state's economy: Leisure travel is up, but business travel is way down. LINK

Treasury Secretary John Snow visited Maine yesterday, ostensibly to deliver a policy speech to the Greater Portland Chamber of Commerce -- but spent most of his time beating up on the GOP's newest punching bag: trial lawyers. LINK

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