The Note

"What if, Kerry seems to be arguing, Bush's answers to the toughest 'what if' questions have actually made America less secure? It's too early to say how America will answer that question, but already a safe bet that nothing else will shape the result in November more."

The AP's Sharon Theimer reports that "Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry outspent President Bush by about $10 million in May and started this month with less than half as much campaign cash left as his GOP rival." LINK

On Saturday, Glen Justice of the New York Times wrote about the cutbacks in spending by the Bush campaign in May -- just $22 million, compared to the $50 million spent in March and the $31 million in April. LINK

He also throws in a quote from Gina Glantz on Kerry's fundraising success story: "'The first burst had to be about people not liking Bush, because people didn't know Kerry,' said Gina Glantz, a Democratic strategist who managed Bill Bradley's presidential campaign in 2000. 'But for the sustained fund-raising, you have to give Kerry credit.'"

ABC News Vote 2004: the battlegrounds:

Stemming from the Media Fund's radio ad in Ohio today for the President's visit, the Associated Press reports, "Interest groups are taking a more precise approach to political advertising than in the past, as they count on local media outlets to help spread their message to voters already inundated by campaign commercials." LINK

The Minneapolis Star Tribune's Rob Hotakainen reports, "With polls showing most Ohio voters opposed to same-sex unions, many Democrats fear a high-profile fight over gay marriage will do nothing but damage Kerry's chances in a hotly contested swing state." LINK

Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Mark Naymik writes of special interest groups that come from a "relatively new but well-organized web of groups with deep pockets and, they say, 20 million members, mobilizing liberals and like-minded voters to -- they hope -- oust Bush." LINK

The Denver Post's John Aloysius Farrell writes, "Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada have landed on the list of crucial battleground states for the 2004 election. If lumped together, their 29 electoral votes rival such traditional prizes as Ohio (20) and Florida (27)." LINK

More from Farrell: "The West's rapid population growth, and the demographic changes brought on by migration from California and other states along with immigration from Mexico, has opened the region's booming southern flank to furious competition between the two major parties."

David Ammons of the AP wonders whether Bush's trip to Olympia, Wash., will actually help his battle in the Democratic-leaning state, for his trip "didn't show him shopping for the elusive swing voter," but rather "Bush was preaching to the choir," speaking to Republican-heavy crowds. LINK

The Des Moines Register's David Yepsen recounts how "hundreds of people" in Iowa may be disfranchised by the counting method, an issue in what could be a very close election. LINK

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