The Note

"Sharpton later got choked up while giving a tribute to his mother, who turned 78 on Sunday. There wasn't a dry eye in the place."

"'I'm here tonight because there's a woman who believed that you can be what you want to be. She never went to college, never finished high school. But somewhere along the way, she believed that if God before you, that's more than the whole world against you … She used to scrub floors, was a domestic worker. She used to get on subways in New York with runs in her stockings so I'd have matching socks to go to school. My mother believed against odds. My mother held on when others would laugh. But tomorrow she'll be 78 years old and those that laughed at her ain't laughing no more 'cause her son is running for the presidency of the United States of America.'"

More on his visit to North Carolina: LINK

Iowa:

On Sunday, the Des Moines Register 's Jonathan Roos reported on a new Iowa poll showing "a diminishing majority approve of [Governor Vilsack's] performance" and "forty-five percent believe the state has gotten off on the wrong track, compared with 43 percent who think it's headed in the right direction. That's a change from May, when optimists outnumbered pessimists, 46 percent to 44 percent." LINK

The Des Moines Register 's Jennifer Dukes Lee writes, "Western Iowa Democrats say they're finally getting the attention they deserve." LINK

The Boston Globe 's Patrick Healy writes that the caucuses look pretty normal compared to recounts and recalls. LINK

On Saturday, Dean and Kerry were in Iowa criticizing the failures of Bush and "stressing the need to mend a divided nation with a Democratic president," the Iowa Press-Citizen reports. LINK

Arizona:

The Arizona Republic touts Arizona's growing clout. LINK

California recall:

CNN/ USA Today /Gallup poll:

63% in favor of the recall, 35% opposed.

Schwarzenegger garners 40% compared to Bustamante's 25% and McClintock's 18% on the second portion of the ballot.

And all the (combat) coverage flows from there, even if the poll might be off.

A classic example of broadcast and print coverage being dominated by a poll — amazing.

Mitchell Landsberg, Matea Gold, and Daryl Kelley deliver the mustest must-read of the recall in today's Los Angeles Times. LINK

"Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared to pick up momentum Sunday in his drive to unseat Gov. Gray Davis, with a new poll showing his candidacy on the ascent, and the campaign director for state Senator Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks) all but conceding that the actor and fellow Republican was likely to win."

"The poll caught the McClintock campaign flat-footed, and campaign director John Feliz all but conceded that Schwarzenegger may be too far ahead to catch. In fact, he said that private polls — though not one by McClintock's campaign — had shown Schwarzenegger moving up after the candidates debate Wednesday, with Bustamante falling back and McClintock receiving a slight immediate uptick, then stabilizing."

"'That's what we hear,' Feliz said. 'Arnold is moving and Tom has settled down, but Tom's not dropping. I still contend when this is done, Tom will beat Bustamante. He'll come in second.'"

"'I think this whole thing about Tom being a spoiler has created the movement for Arnold. The voters are taking their second choice; Tom's their first choice.'"

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