The Note

"With California's Oct. 7 recall election now a certainty, a growing chorus of Republican leaders ramped up the pressure to narrow the GOP field — lining up behind the candidacy of actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and urging state Senator Tom McClintock to withdraw from the contest."

More Marinucci: "The continuing fight between Schwarzenegger and McClintock entering tonight's debate among the major replacement candidates is helping Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, as he continues attempting to remain detached from the political fracas of the recall election."

"The clash diverts attention from the governor's record — and weakens both GOP campaigns in the eyes of voters."

The Los Angeles Times on McClintock's refusal to quit. LINK

California recall, the governor: Mark Z. Barabak writes up the forgotten pro-recall effort and wonders if all the attention on question 2 has given Gray Davis his best chance for survival. LINK

"Taking his ouster in the first part of the recall ballot for granted, the GOP and its leading candidates have put most of their time and virtually all of their resources into the fight to replace Davis. That, in turn, has given the embattled incumbent and his Democratic allies a priceless opportunity — a chance to redefine the recall itself."

If anyone's polled e-mail users, this issue alone might win Gray Davis support in fighting the recall. The Washington Times reports that the embattled Governor signed a bill yesterday prohibiting the sending of spam from California or to citizens of the Golden State. LINK

ABC 2004: Taste of the Campaign:

Frequently Asked Questions (and answers) about The Taste of the Campaign:

Q: What will the ballot look like?

A: If what you're asking is will there be hanging chads, the answer is NO — this is a check-box ballot. The candidates and the desserts will be listed on a pre-printed ballot — with a line for a write-in candidate should The good General choose to deliver the good (ies).

Q: How was the order selected?

A: The order was chosen in a drawing conducted by ABC News Washington Bureau Chief Robin Sproul with two witnesses present to ensure complete and total fairness. The Note will now reveal, for the very first time, the order, as it will appear on tonight's ballot, along with the desserts that will be sampled by voters:

1. Senator Joe Lieberman

Apple Crisp

2. President George W. Bush

Cowboy Cookies

3. Reverend Al Sharpton

Sweet Potato Pie

4. Governor Howard Dean

Maple-Powered Howard

5. Congressman Richard Gephardt

Peach Pie

6. Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun

Mom's Favorite Pound Cake

7. Senator Bob Graham

Lost Creek Sawdust Pie

8. Congressman Dennis Kucinich

New Deal Vegan Chocolate Cake

9. Senator John Kerry

Mama T's Brownies

10. Senator John Edwards

Chocolate Torte

Q: How will you ensure a free and fair election?

A: All guests will register to vote with a signature required to receive their ballot. The one vote per guest rule will be strictly enforced.

Q: Who will certify the results?

A: Playing the role of Katherine Harris, ABC News Political Director Mark Halperin will oversee the vote counting and certify the results. He's your go to guy for problems/complaints with the process.

Q: How am I supposed to both attend this party and watch the California debate?

A: If we've told you once, we've told you a thousand times, this will be the premiere (and maybe only) debate watching party in Washington tonight — don't miss it.

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