The Note

So, with one debate out of the way, a brutal WSJ/NBC poll with still-strong-by-historic-standards-but-trending-badly numbers for 43, and the situation on the ground and on the Hill vis-a-vis Iraq not trending so swell either, we move to what we affectionately call "The Double Digit Debate."

After the closing bell rings on Wall Street today, downtown will be the site of the second Democratic National Committee sanctioned presidential debate.

The two-hour ruckus is hosted by CNBC and the Wall Street Journal .

While the stated focus of this debate will be economic issues, the real focus will be on The General as he takes part in his first debate and makes his debut appearance with the other nine candidates. NBC's Brian Williams will moderate the debate. CNBC's Ron Insana and Gloria Borger will join Williams and the Wall Street Journal 's Gerald Seib as the questioners.

After the debate, the DNC will host a dinner to honor the presidential candidates at the Sheraton New York Hotel. Al Franken will emcee the evening. All candidates are expected to attend except Dean. And there's an after-party with young professionals.

President Bush meets with members of the congressional conference on Medicare modernization today at the White House.

Governor Dean flies to Detroit this morning to speak to the AFL-CIO convention. He will not go to the DNC dinner tonight after the debate; he is heading home to Vermont before the night is over.

Senator Kerry will attend a debate watching party after the debate.

General Clark will meet with supporters in Bowling Green Park on his way to the debate.

Congressman Gephardt has private fundraising events in New York City before heading to the debate and the dinner.

Congressman Kucinich will meet with supporters at the Flat Hotel after the debate and the dinner.

Reverend Sharpton will hold a media availability at Amy Ruth's restaurant in Harlem before heading to the debate and the dinner.

Senator Edwards, Ambassador Moseley Braun, Senator Lieberman, and Senator Graham have no other public events scheduled besides the debate and the dinner.

In the recall:

Republican county chairs will meet at the chamber of commerce in Sacramento today to discuss whether to endorse a candidate for governor.

Governor Davis will meet with the Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association to talk about Meagan's Law this afternoon in Monterey Park. He also will participate in a town hall forum sponsored by Town Hall LA in Burbank tonight.

Lieutenant Governor Bustamante makes remarks on veterans' issues at Patriotic Hall in Los Angeles today.

Arnold Schwarzenegger appears on the Sean Hannity radio show this afternoon, which will also air live on FNC. He also will attend a town hall meeting hosted by KABC radio, FOX News, and the Republican Jewish Coalition in Los Angeles today.

State Senator Tom McClintock makes appearances on CNN, MSNBC, FNC, San Francisco's NBC 11, and San Diego's KOGO 660 today.

A day confined to your must-reads:

ABC 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

Six little words mighty big on political meaning, that came as no surprise to Matt Dowd or the folks at Gallup: "The lowest point of his presidency."

A Wall Street Journal /NBC News poll shows "slow economic growth and persistent job losses" have hurt the president, and reports that "just 49% of Americans approve of his overall job performance, and only 43% approve of his handling of the economy." LINK

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