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25 days until Election Day

The second presidential debate moderated by ABC News' Charles Gibson is today!

5 days until the third presidential debate


Realities and analysis headed into Beat Me in St. Louis:

A. "The Labor Department says that employers' payrolls increased by 96,000 overall in September while the unemployment rate held steady at 5.4 percent," according to the Associated Press. This is below the average estimate of 150,000 new jobs expected.

"U.S. businesses added 96,000 jobs to payrolls in September, the government reported on Friday, a weaker-than-expected total that was expected to

sharpen a presidential debate later in the day over the economy's direction," reports Reuters.

But wait … what about that benchmark revision?

"Labor also said that, according to preliminary estimates, the economy added about 236,000 more jobs than previously thought in the year ended March 2004 … ," reports Reuters.

As our ABC News colleague Betsy Stark points out, "the benchmark revision is a number which had always had the capacity to reduce the total number of jobs lost on President Bush's watch."

On the job numbers, Stark says: "This is a weak and disappointing number. Job growth needs to be around 150K a month just to keep up with population growth. This will raise questions about the strength of the recovery."

"The hurricanes probably had some impact on the September number but the Labor Department could not say how big an impact. Not enough, anyway, to change the headline here."

Stark goes on to say that "Saying 580,000 jobs lost under President Bush is not quite as powerful as Kerry's preferred 'one million.' It takes some of the sting out of it."

But the Herbert Hoover bottom line still remains true.

A statement from John Kerry calls the numbers "disappointing," and we bet Nicolle Devenish would agree.

B. With almost no exceptions, national and battleground state polls since the first presidential debate have shown improvement for Kerry. We miss the days when Bartlett/Schmidt/Gillespie/McClellan talking points could attribute any and all Kerry campaign actions and statements to desperation because of sagging poll numbers. Maybe those days will return after tonight … .

C. And/but look at what the Calming Presence tells USA Today , whose Galluping polls show close contests in Wisconsin, Colorado, and New Mexico:

"Karl Rove, Bush's top strategist, said he's not concerned about polls tightening in Wisconsin and Colorado. 'Don't forget, we lost New Mexico and Wisconsin and won Colorado in 2000. We're going to be fine,' he said." LINK

D. The New York Times Nagourney and Stevenson — reflecting a media CW about the president's campaign — write: LINK

" … (T)he scathing indictment that Mr. Bush offered of Mr. Kerry over the past two days — on the eve of the second presidential debate and with polls showing the race tightening — took … (his) attacks to a blistering new level. In the process, several analysts say, Mr. Bush pushed the limits of subjective interpretation and offered exaggerated or what some Democrats said were distorted accounts of Mr. Kerry's positions on health care, tax cuts, the Iraq war and foreign policy … ."

" … (A)nalysts, including some Republicans, said Mr. Bush was repeatedly taking phrases and sentences out of context, or cherry-picking votes, to provide an unfavorable case against Mr. Kerry."

"The latest line of attacks by Mr. Bush comes during what has been a tumultuous week for him, amid signs that a once swaggering White House was getting worried."

E. Howard Fineman of Newsweek — per usual simultaneously reflecting and crafting the CW — writes on the web under the headline "Why Bush Is Sounding Desperate":

"Presidential campaigns take on a life and shape of their own in the last stretch and this one now has. It's the president desperately trying to tear down Kerry as the news tears down the president." LINK

F. As for tonight, the president's superior skills as a candidate (and Senator Kerry's Gore-like inability to take advantages of gifts given … ) should take the edge off what has been a horrible week of table-setting news for Mr. Bush — Bremer, Duelfer, Rumsfeld. Or not.

G. For those interested in getting a sense of the evening, please read this colloquy from this morning's boffo episode of Good Morning, America, between two of our ABC News colleagues:

STEPHANOPOULOS: But I have to turn the tables on you, because you are also out there tonight and everybody's been asking me how you're going to pick the questions. How you're going to decide and whether they're going to see them.

GIBSON: No. I should underline that. The candidates do not see the questions in advance. And, indeed, the audience members, those who bring in their questions, will not know which one will be called on. They give me the questions, I believe this morning, and I have the afternoon to go over them. And we will eliminate some that seem, you know, redundant or whatever. And then I simply pick some at random, trying to cover the subjects that I think are important to voters about half of them on foreign policy, about half on domestic policy. But it very much depends on how good the questions these folks bring in. But as you say, people, when they come to these things, take it very seriously and I suspect the questions will be good ones.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I know both are going to think about how to break those rules, how to push them. You have a delicate job there trying to not interfere but also making sure they stick by the agreement.

GIBSON: Absolutely. They have to abide by their own rules, but you want to enforce them politely. Indeed, I think I should probably say that tonight.

President George W. Bush and Senator John F. Kerry will shake hands tonight in St. Louis for the second time this year, debating each other in a 9:00 pm ET, 90-minute town hall-style meeting.

Per ABC's Kate Snow, the president will focus on Kerry's record, seizing on any moments that can be used to paint Kerry as a flip-flopper in order to widen the "commander-in-chief gap," as the Wall Street Journal puts it today. He has studied tapes of the first debate and will "try to be less expressive when reacting to Kerry's mischaracterizations," as one senior adviser quips to Snow.

Per ABC's Dan Harris, Kerry is expected to highlight overall job loss numbers since January 2001, the increased number of uninsured Americans, and conditions on the ground in Iraq as well as the Duelfer report to paint the president as out of touch with the middle class and unable/unwilling/too stubborn to tell the truth about Iraq.

Kerry and Bush have no public events today before the debate. But each will go to the site for a CLOSED walk-through and hold post-debate rallies in St. Louis — Bush at the Greenfelder Recreation Complex and Kerry at the America Center.

Bush and Kerry will have some fresh fodder with which to go at each other tonight.

At 9:30 am, BLS Commissioner Kathleen Utgoff holds a press conference at the Capitol, and Kerry campaign adviser Gene Sperling has a 9:30 am conference call to talk about the employment figures.

The candidates will also have the brand new words of Paul Bremer.

In its Tuesday edition, the Washington Post reported that Bremer criticized the president for not deploying enough troops in Iraq.

But in today's New York Times Bremer delivers what can only be described as a political defense of Bush and an attack on Kerry, criticizing Kerry for his vote against the $87 billion supplemental and writing that Kerry should point out "President Bush made a correct and courageous decision to liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein's brutality, and that the president is correct to see the war in Iraq as a central front in the war on terrorism." LINK

Vice President Cheney attends an 8:00 pm debate watching-party in Palm Habror, FL today, while Senator John Edwards is in Scranton, PA and Royal Oak, MI for a rally and a fundraiser, respectively.

The Senate is expected today or tomorrow to pass the corporate tax bill, and the House is expected to do the same for its version of the intelligence bill.

Tomorrow President Bush begins his day in St. Louis for a Matt Blunt fundraiser before heading to Waterloo, IA and Scott County, MN for rallies. Senator Kerry rallies in Elryia, OH before heading to Davie, FL for a late town hall meeting. Cheney raises coin for Mel Martinez and Edwards is in Detroit and Saginaw, MI.

On Sunday only Edwards is out and about, campaigning in Milwaukee and Elk River, WI. President Bush is down in Crawford and Kerry flies to New Mexico for debate prep.

And be sure to catch Edwards on This Week with George Stephanopoulos this upcoming Sunday morning. Check your local listings.

ABC News Vote 2004: Beat Me in St. Louis:

The Washington Post 's Peter Slevin has a boffo color-filled look at tonight's debate, focusing on the restrictions on the questioners and the secrecy of their questions. LINK

The Washington Post 's Dan Balz thinks yesterday's "fiery exchange" is a preview of tonight's Presidential debate and gives a fine sense of how the

the candidates' barbs unfolded throughout the day after negative newspaper headlines. LINK

The San Francisco Chronicle's Marc Sandalow writes that "the pressure is on President Bush tonight," given the ghost of last week's debate performance, the weapons report and today's jobs numbers. Sandalow rounds up the candidates' talk-tough tactics on the stump, wondering how that'd play in front of a town hall of leaning voters, as well as the scene-setting by their advisers about what both sides need to accomplish tonight. LINK

The New York Times ' op-ed page assembles some eclectic groups of thinkers to offer up some questions for tonight's debate, for Kerry: LINK and for Bush: LINK

The Washington Post 's Mike Allen gets "several Bush advisers" to admit that the president "may well pay a price" for "the unprecedented steps" the Bush

campaign has taken to shield the president from "dissenters and even from curious, undecided voters." LINK

President Bush will use tonight's debate to try to widen the commander-in-chief gap and protect his likeability lead, while Kerry will try to use it to "stoke doubts raised by the week's developments" and air his concerns about "middle-class economic distress," writes the Wall Street Journal 's Jake Schlesinger and Jackie Calmes. The duo also Note that the debate will be as much about style as substance, and Bush still leads Kerry on the hang test. LINK

Ed Chen and Matea Gold of the Los Angeles Times raise the curtain on the impact of tonight's debate format. LINK

"While the second presidential matchup will be more regimented than some of the town hall meetings popular on the campaign trail, the setting will test each candidate's ability to field a variety of questions on domestic and foreign policy issues while trying to personally connect with members of the audience."

USA Today 's Judy Keen thinks the president "might have an edge" in tonight's debate and Jill Lawrence writes that Kerry "has another chance to surprise America tonight." LINK and LINK

Brian C. Mooney of the Boston Globe writes up how the audience for the debate and their questions are being selected. LINK

The Boston Globe 's Johnson and Kornblut sum up the candidates' reactions to the Duelfer report and write, "The two views underscored the positions each candidate is expected to take in their town-hall debate tonight: Kerry arguing that Bush is misleading the country not only about the war but the economy and other domestic issues; Bush arguing that the invasion was justified and that Kerry shifts his arguments based on the prevailing political conditions." LINK

The Washington Times ' Dinan and Lakley Note the town-hall setting for tonight's debate is a friendlier setting for George Bush. Not so! says Ken Mehlman, pointing to Kerry's experience as a prosecutor. The lowering-of-expectations game continues. LINK

We love it when Walter Shapiro uses this as a sentence: "Fat chance." You'll have to go read it to find out how and why. LINK

Bob Novak opens by reminiscing over the ghosts of Richmond. LINK

The Boston Herald's David Guarino has this headline: "Will show turn into Jerry Springer or Oprah?" LINK

Lynn Sweet's headline in the Chicago Sun-Times reads: "Pressure's greater on Bush to perform well tonight." LINK

The Chicago Tribune's Silva and Zuckman expect a good bit of WMDs discussion tonight. LINK

The Detroit Free Press puts this headline on Knight Ridder's Hutcheson and Fitzgerald's write-up: "Bush on defensive for 2nd round debate." LINK

The Detroit News' Price and Cain have this headline: "Swing voters at stake in debate." LINK

Dick Polman of the Philadelphia Inquirer looks at previous town-hall meetings the candidates have attended. President Bush's are tightly screened and are full of "softball questions," he says. And explaining how that doesn't mean Senator Kerry will dominate, he writes, "After all, Kerry was wielding the mike at a town-hall event when he lapsed into Senate-speak and declared, 'I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.'" LINK

Here's a look at the boffo local coverage:

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jon Sawyer previews what it calls the "Sequel in St. Louis." LINK

Eun-Kyung Kim of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch talks to some undecided voters and learns they are looking to see how the candidates think on their feet and are expecting a "more frank discussion of issues, and a broader range of topics." LINK

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a list of debate-related events in town today — beginning with the St. Louis-native Rep. Dick Gephardt's press conference with Chairman McAuliffe and a "mystery guest" they suggest could be none other than Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. LINK

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch gives readers five things they need to know about the debate. LINK

Both candidates were met by enthusiastic supporters as they arrived in St. Louis last night. LINK

The politics of Iraq:

L. Paul Bremer sets the record straight — or at least clarifies what he said — about the Bush Administration's Iraq policy, delivering a strong political defense of Bush and political attack on Kerry, Noting "the press has been curiously reluctant to report my constant public support for the president's strategy in Iraq and his policies to fight terrorism. I have been involved in the war on terrorism for two decades, and in my view no world leader has better understood the stakes in this global war than President Bush."

Bremer criticizes Kerry for his vote against the $87 billion supplemental, and writes, "Mr. Kerry is free to quote my comments about Iraq. But for the sake of honesty he should also point out that I have repeatedly said, including in all my speeches in recent weeks, that President Bush made a correct and courageous decision to liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein's brutality, and that the president is correct to see the war in Iraq as a central front in the war on terrorism." LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Ron Brownstein offers a must-read analysis where he clearly sees a little more room for Kerry to take advantage of Duelfer's findings than for President Bush, but it is no slam dunk for the Senator. LINK

"The study comes as violence continues to plague Iraq. The situation exposes Bush to a potentially dangerous squeeze: mounting losses on the ground combined with mounting challenges to his original justification for the war."

More Brownstein: "Yet on Iraq, doubts about Kerry form a last line of defense for Bush. For all the concern about the president's course, even fewer Americans believe Kerry has laid out a clear plan for success in Iraq than Bush has, recent polls show."

"The two takes on the same report, presented by Charles A. Duelfer, head of the CIA's Iraq Survey Group weapons-hunting team, shows just how fractured the discussion about Iraq has become between the two presidential candidates," write Matea Gold and Maura Reynolds of the Los Angeles Times. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

The New York Times ' Dick Stevenson has an extensive look at the genealogy of the president's economic policies. LINK

The AP's debate-loving Jennifer Loven wraps President Bush's accusation that Kerry was misleading the country over Iraq. LINK

She may not have official executive branch authority, but Mrs. Cheney can certainly get the Department of Education to destroy a few hundred thousand copies of a booklet with offending references to the National Standards for History long despised by the Vice President's wife. The Los Angeles Times has the story. LINK

The New York Times ' Edmund Andrews reports that "in a sign that Mr. Bush's tax cuts have had a bigger impact on the federal deficit than administration officials have often suggested," last year's federal tax revenues were lower than before President Bush took office. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Kerry-Edwards '04:

Kerry's "devotion to alliances," which "forms the core of his worldview," was instilled in him by World War II, write the Washington Post 's bookish Blumenfeld and Wright. LINK

The chairman of the president's Council on Bioethics accused Kerry of "playing politics with the sick" in his criticism of the president's stem-cell research policy. LINK

The Los Angeles Times takes a look at Kerry's economic plan and reports that Kerry's outsourcing rhetoric may need a little more context than the candidate provides on the stump. LINK

John Edwards was dispatched to stop the bleeding in Jersey yesterday, reports the Washington Times . LINK

James Gordon Meek of the New York Daily News Notes Kerry may have found his mojo. LINK

The New York Times ' Randy Archibold highlights his trip to New Jersey with family members of victims of Sept. 11, who "bitterly criticized" the Bush Administration's national security policies. Archibold Notes the latest Quinnipac University poll of the Blue State, which this week showed Senator Kerry leading President Bush 49 percent to 46 percent, down from a 12-point lead in July. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush vs. Kerry:

Jonathan Weisman ominously writes on the Washington Post 's front page that the consequences of a rising deficit "are just coming into view. The White House has ordered draft budgets for 2006 that would cut spending on homeland security, veterans affairs and education, according to White House documents. Some economists — although by no means most — see a reckoning on the horizon, when foreign lenders reject U.S. debt, interest rates rise, and the value of the dollar crashes." LINK

A new Associated Press poll shows Senator Kerry moving from a tied position with President Bush to a slight lead, with 50 percent to Bush's 46 percent among likely voters, Ron Fournier reports. The survey, conducted Oct. 4-6, showed that people are paying attention to the debates; nearly three-fourths said they'd watched the debates, and 39 percent said they have a more favorable view of Kerry as a result. In addition, Bush's approval rating on Iraq has slipped to 44 percent from the 51 percent it was in September, and be sure to take a look at the right track/wrong track numbers. LINK

The New York Times ' David Sanger and Jodi Wilgoren report that yesterday's "bitter long-distance debate" "underscored how both candidates have staked their electoral fates to how voters judge them on Iraq, even as the debates nominally turn to questions of the economy and domestic policy." LINK

The New York Times ' James Brooke looks at the Pentagon's efforts to get 100 percent voter participation at military bases around the world. LINK

Paul Krugman accuses the administration of Orwell's "reality control." LINK

"The point is that in the real world, as opposed to the political world, ignorance isn't strength. A leader who has the political power to pretend that he's infallible, and uses that power to avoid ever admitting mistakes, eventually makes mistakes so large that they can't be covered up. And that's what's happening to Mr. Bush."

In eager anticipation of the jobs numbers, the Boston Globe 's Robert Gavin asserts that jobs are the centerpiece to the economy and takes an in-depth look at Bush and Kerry's different economic policies. The good news is, Gavin explains it so even non-economists can understand it. LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's Steve Liesman has an interesting column in today's Wall Street Journal , looking at several reasons why President Bush's economic approval ratings aren't higher despite some above-average economic indicators, including PR for his economic accomplishments, voter frustration with Iraq creeping into the equation, and that "much of the recent growth has been at the corporate level and hasn't yet trickled down to individual income or employee compensation."

The Wall Street Journal 's John Harwood throws some interesting stuff into today's Washington Wire, from the BC04 camp crossing their fingers over the expected economic numbers to take the focus from Iraq to the Bush campaign shifting resources to Iowa and Nevada for the final push to Nov. 2.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Steve Schultze has this lead: "President Bush, seeking to recover some momentum lost in last week's debate with Democratic challenger John Kerry, aggressively attacked Kerry in Wisconsin Thursday as a deeply flawed, even dangerous alternative to him." LINK

Will the issue of global warming make it into one of the remaining two debates? LINK

"President Bush sharply curtailed television advertising in Washington state this week, a sign that national Republicans may be privately conceding the state's 11 electoral votes," reports the Los Angeles Times' Nick Anderson. LINK

Farah Stockman of the Boston Globe delivers a North Korea explainer and how the president and Senator Kerry would handle the apparent dangerous situation differently. LINK

The economy:

The number of workers seeking unemployment benefits for the first time dropped last week for the first time in four weeks to 335,000, Jeff Bater of Dow Jones Newswires reports.

ABC News Vote 2004: casting and counting:

The Chicago Tribune's McCormick and Zeleny report on the armies of lawyers in Ohio and Florida. LINK

Watch Duval County on November 2.

"Nearly a dozen African-American civil rights leaders stood at a counter, demanding the white elections boss help them ensure that as many of their constituents as possible can vote. Tightening his lips, the voting official curtly replied that they were out of luck. No, he could not try to correct voter registration forms that were turned in incomplete. No, he would not consider opening early voting offices convenient for African-American neighborhoods." LINK

Lawsuits pending against Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood: 4. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the Big Four battlegrounds: Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin:

The Los Angeles Times' La Ganga takes a look at the "perilous territory" Wisconsin could prove to be for John Kerry on election day. LINK

"It turns out that well over half of new voters registered in Ohio at last count--about 475,000 of about 830,000 — hail from just 8 urban counties," reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. LINK

President Bush holds a slight lead in Florida, according to just about every poll. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the battlegrounds:

Deb Orin references lots of polls to show that things are pretty open still. LINK

USA Today 's Bill Nichols reports that "Kerry has sliced President Bush's lead in Wisconsin and is tied with him in Colorado, a state Bush won in the 2000 presidential race, USA TODAY /CNN/Gallup Polls of battleground states released Thursday show." LINK

Knight Ridder's Laura Kurtzman profiles Nevada, Noting, "In the four years since George W. Bush beat Al Gore by about 22,000 votes in Nevada, the state has added nearly 15 times that many people." LINK

A new Mason-Dixon poll shows Bush leading Kerry in Colorado by 50 to 41, with 7 percent still undecided. Jim Hughes of the Denver Post also Notes another poll that show the race much tighter. According to a CNN/ USA Today /Gallup poll of likely voters conducted this week, the contenders are locked in a 49-49 tie with a 5 percent margin of error. LINK


The New York Times ' Kate Zernike has a fine look at the disastrous Nader campaign in Pennsylvania. LINK

The AP reports there will be a Tuesday hearing in a lawsuit Nader filed in U.S. District Court over a state law requiring people who collect petitions for candidates to live in Ohio. LINK

County clerks in Wisconsin had their ballots held up by deliberations over Ralph Nader, but they are expected soon. LINK

The Times Herald reports the Mongomery Country Commissioners have voted to begin mailing ballots with Nader's name, though his status on the ballot is not secured. LINK

"A vote for Kerry is a vote for war. A vote for Kerry is a vote for continued, wasteful, bloated and redundant military expenditures. A vote for Kerry is a vote for the Patriot Act and its renewal next year — the greatest assault on our civil liberties in our history," Nader said before a crowd in Albany New York yesterday. The independent candidate was critical of Bush as well but the Troy Record Notes he saved his harshest words for Kerry, who expects more from. LINK

DeLay's dilemma:

"But precisely because DeLay has worked so tirelessly to build his party and raise money for his colleagues, Republicans are not likely to force him from his post as majority leader, despite the clamor Thursday from Democrats and public interest groups for his resignation," reports the Los Angeles Times' Janet Hook. LINK

The New York Times ' Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports that DeLay could have trouble keeping his job if Republicans lose seats in the election. LINK

The New York Times ' editorial board writes that Tom DeLay's ethics violation "amounts to a warning for a tainted and much feared leader to either straighten up or step aside." LINK

The politics of intelligence:

A divided House continues to grapple with the overwhelmingly bipartisan intelligence overhaul bill sent to them from the Senate with November 2 fast approaching. LINK

By a 203-213 vote, the House on Thursday voted down a bill similar to a Senate measure to implement the recommendations by the 9/11 commission, setting the stage for passage of a different piece of legislation, which adds controversial provisions giving more powers to law enforcement. LINK


Former Democratic New York City mayoral candidate Mark Green has launched a Web site asking people to enter his "Name the October Surprise" contest. Here's the site: LINK

In a written statement Green (who is also co-chair of the Kerry campaign in New York) explains the contest thusly: " … if we receive and publicize possible October surprises, perhaps W. will shy away from more blatant ploys once we pre-release them. That is, we believe in preemption politically, not militarily." Submissions will be read on Air America throughout the month of October.

And for you jib-jab junkies, here's the link to the new (and far less entertaining) animated short on the election courtesy of those Marlboro High School starlets, the Spiridellis brothers. LINK

The Clintons of Chappaqua:

USA Today 's Larry Copeland reports from Little Rock on the economic impact the Clinton Presidential Center has already had there and is expected to produce once it opens. LINK

TODAY'S SCHEDULE (all times ET):

—8:30 am: The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the September jobs report and the benchmark revision

—9:00 am: The House of Representatives convenes for legislative business and considers the 9/11 Recommendations Implementations Act, Washington, DC

—9:15 am: The Senate convenes for legislative business, Washington, DC

—10:00 am: Rep. Dick Gephardt, DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe, and a mystery guest deliver a "report card" on President Bush at the Maplewood Richmond Heights High School, St. Louis, MO

—10:00 am: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Sens. Mitch McConnell, Rick Santorum, Kay Hutchinson, Jon Kyl, and George Allen hold an end-of-session news conference at the Capitol, Washington, DC

—10:30 am: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and others hold a news conference at the Capitol accusing Republicans of neglecting the middle class, Washington, DC

—10:45 am: Sen. John Edwards holds a rally at the Scranton Cultural Center, Scranton, PA

—11:00 am: The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights holds a briefing on voting and election reform, Washington, DC

—11:00 am: President Bush begins technical walk-thru of debate site, St. Louis, MO (CLOSED PRESS)

—11:45 am: Cate Edwards holds a town hall at Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, IA

—12:00 pm: John Cusack holds a rally on behalf of Sen. John Kerry at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM

—1:45 pm: Andre Heinz holds an environmental leaders roundtable at Uptown Espresso, Seattle, WA

—2:15 pm: Cate Edwards holds a town hall at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

—3:30 pm: John Cusack holds a rally on Sen. Kerry's behalf at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

—6:00 pm: Cate Edwards holds a rally at Iowa State University, Ames, IA

—6:15 pm: Andrew Heinz holds an environmental rally at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA

—6:30 pm: Sen. Edwards attends a DNC fundraiser at the Royal Oak Theater, Royal Oak, MI

—8:00 pm: Vice President Cheney speaks at a debate-watching party at the Westin Innisbrook Resort, Palm Harbor, FL

—8:30 pm: Cate Edwards hosts a debate watching party at Drake University, Des Moines, IA

—8:30 pm: Andrew Heinz hosts a debate watching party at Timberline Spirits, Seattle, WA

—9:00 pm: Alexandra Kerry hosts a debate watching party at Washington University, St. Louis, MO

—9:00 pm: President Bush and Sen. John Kerry participate in the second presidential debate at Washington University, St. Louis, MO

—10:55 pm: President Bush holds a post-debate rally at the Greenfelder Recreation Complex, St. Louis, MO

—11:00 pm: Sen. Kerry holds a post-debate rally at the America Center, St, Louis, MO