The Note

"What's actually happened is that politics, and not the country, has become more polarized. By politics, I mean elected officials, party activists, advocates, highly engaged voters and commentators (TV talking heads, pundits). In his search for polarization, sociologist DiMaggio examined many subgroups by age, race, sex and education. None exhibited more polarization, with one exception: people who identified as 'strong' Republicans or Democrats. That's about 30 percent of adults."

Samuelson's column might be a good explanation as to why the Federal Marriage Amendment isn't as polarizing as backers hoped; while most Americans disfavor gay marriage, they're hesitant to write it into the Constitution. It's a nuanced position, not a simple one, and it's hard for activists to wrench more votes from nuance.

Still, there IS polarization among some groups — such as those who worship regularly and those who don't — and there is certainly polarization at the Electoral College level.

The New York Daily News' Richard Sisk writes up the new George Washington University poll showing Bush and Kerry even at 48% and Nader pulling 1%. LINK "Democratic pollster Celinda Lake and GOP pollster Ed Goeas, contributors to the Battleground survey, said the results were little changed from a poll in March and showed an electorate deeply polarized and likely to stay that way into November."

The Tampa Tribune's Brad Smith has a piece on some Catholic voters' concerns about their own faith, the candidates' faith, and how those two intersect. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

USA Today 's Judy Keen and Richard Benedetto highlight Laura Bush's appearances on the trail and her role in the campaign to re-elect her husband. LINK

"Laura Bush's values, image and opinions are not just fodder for fashion magazines or Beltway buzz about whether she supports abortion rights or disagrees with her husband's opposition to embryonic stem-cell research. They could become an important part of the campaign as voters compare the wives of the two candidates."

The New York Daily News writes up Vice President Cheney's trip to the Big Apple yesterday, Noting that Cheney met with Mayor Bloomberg and rode to Yankee Stadium with former mayor Giuliani and Gov. Pataki.LINK "The mayor said he went to lobby Cheney on anti-terror aid and ended up talking about everything from baseball to Rep. Bob Ney, the Ohio Republican whom Bloomberg disinvited from his home last week over a vote against boosting security funds for the city."

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