The Note

The Washington Times' Steve Miller writes on the recent CBS-New York Times poll showing Nader at 7 percent. While the Nader camp stubbornly resists the poll's implications, it seems certain that it "is a continuation of a pattern of Mr. Nader dipping into the well of votes Mr. Kerry is expected to secure." LINK

In Salon, Joe Conason ponders the propriety of the Nader campaign sharing office space in D.C. with Citizen Works, non-profit group founded by Nader. Conason questions the legality of the arrangement given that federal law prohibits tax-exempt organizations from participating in campaigns. So is there a problem?

"If there's an arms-length transaction — meaning a payment process and a lease that actually exists — then perhaps it is legal. But whether it's legal or not legal, it looks questionable, particularly for a candidate and a group devoted to good government. It's questionable at best. You know, it's the old 'I Love Lucy' line: They've got some explaining to do." LINK

Meanwhile, Nader still faces the daunting task of getting on the ballot in states nationwide. He has said he plans to be on the ballot in all 50 states, a goal many see as onerous, but possible. He is focusing his efforts now on Texas, one of the most challenging states in the nation for independents, requiring 65,000 signatures gathered in a 60-day period that started on March 10, as well as North Carolina and Oklahoma.

ABC News Vote 2004: the House races:

The Hotline's Chuck Todd kicks off his biennial March Madness style look at the 64 hottest House races in the nation. Today's installment looks at the 16 top contests in the West. LINK

"Conventional wisdom says it's nearly impossible for the Republican Party to lose control of the House in 2004, thanks to the controversial redistricting in Texas that should net the GOP anywhere from four to six seats. That said, retirements have been trending in the wrong direction for Republicans, and the mood of the electorate isn't exactly ideal for incumbents in general."

ABC News Vote 2004: the Senate races:

Linda Rush at the Southern Illinoisan reports that turnout at the primary varied from "fairly high" to "light" by county. Contested local races and ballot initiatives are seen as having contributed and 3-1 Democratic turnout through the southern part of Illinois.LINK

David Mendell of the Chicago Tribune reports on the landslide victory Barack Obama claimed in the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in the state, where he beat out six eclectic competitors for the for the nomination. LINK

John Chase and Liam Ford of the Tribune report on Jack Ryan's victory in the Republican wing of the Senate race, where he stole the show as a political newcomer. LINK

The Tribune's John Chase and David Mendell offer a comparison for readers of the two elected nominees for Senate, Noting that after you count their Harvard educations, charisma, and good looks, the similarities end. LINK

The Hill reports that Rep. Mark Udall's chief of staff "Alan Salazar blamed much of the tumultuous, behind-the-scenes jousting — and Democrats' near-failure to settle on a consensus candidate in a Republican-friendly state — on the campaign committee." LINK

"'I don't want to disparage the political skills of the DSCC, but I really believe they were about 72 to 100 hours behind what was going on on the ground in Colorado,' Salazar said."

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