The Note

"Bush advisers said they were aware the reversal could produce a backlash against him in several steel-producing states of the Rust Belt — including Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. That arc of states has been hit severely by losses in manufacturing jobs and will be among the most closely contested in his reelection race."

"Officials said the repeal could help Bush in Michigan, where automakers and parts factories are heavy consumers of steel and were hurt by the tariffs, but they said that was not the reason for the decision. In 2000, Bush won Ohio and West Virginia, a traditionally Democratic state. He lost Pennsylvania and Michigan, and they are among his top targets in 2004."

The Wall Street Journal reports that President Bush "has little to gain politically by keeping the tariffs, but much to lose … Steel imports have declined in recent months, and while steel states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan are important to the president's re-election bid, he gained little steelworker support with the tariffs."

The Associated Press also considers the political ramifications for President Bush: the tariffs gave a boost to Bush among "traditionally Democratic steelworkers in states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia" but "angered owners and employees of small manufacturing companies that make up part of his GOP base in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin."

"Collectively, those states account for almost one-third of the 270 electoral votes Bush needs to win re-election." LINK

The New York Times ' Sanger looks at how the White House might try to positively spin the potentially costly issue:

"One industry official who has been talking to the White House said he expected that Mr. Bush would try to make the best of his defeat by arguing that the main objective of the tariffs has been achieved: the American steel industry has consolidated significantly in the past 18 months, exactly the reorganization that Mr. Bush declared had to happen during the three-year life of the tariffs."LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: The Invisible Primary:

So what that Florida's senior Senator is retiring, the GOP has the governor's mansion and the state legislature is Republican-heavy? All nine candidates will be there come next weekend and that is reason enough for the state party to Celebrate Good Times. LINK

Jim VandeHei looked at the higher ed issue and the Democratic field in Sunday's Washington Post . LINK

The Boston Globe on Sunday had Joanna Weiss' look at Democratic presidential candidates courting veterans. LINK

The Los Angeles Times on the left's new-found donor "firepower," which owes its strength to liberals' "visceral loathing" of the president and the passage of McCain-Feingold. The idea from the left: join 'em and beat 'em when it comes to funding the war of ideas. LINK

Note the star turns from Mr. Norquist and Ms. Nichols!

Salon profiles the insurgent politics of, writing "there's no question that, between MoveOn, (George) Soros and Howard Dean, a new breed of aggressive progressives are changing American politics. And while conservatives have complained, they haven't been able to hamper these groups' efforts. Indeed, MoveOn has mastered a kind of ideological jujitsu. Republican attacks just add to its strength." LINK

From think tanks to a liberal radio network, Democrats are coming out swinging in an attempt to compete with Republican infrastructures, writes the Tribune's Naftali Bendavid. LINK

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