The Note: It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

Kit Seelye of the New York Times looks at how the candidates aim to grab the attention of accidental viewers during the debates — not to mention during a debate opposite the Yankees and Red Sox. LINK

USA Today's Bill Nichols writes that "both men face enormous pressure in their last face-to-face opportunity to change the dynamic of a close race." LINK

USA Today maps out domestic issue talking points for both candidates. LINK

Knight Ridder's Thomma and Douglas offer, "The audience for their third and final debate Wednesday night is likely to be in the tens of millions, many of them swing voters who haven't committed to either major party candidate." LINK

In advance of an expected mention of environmental issues Wednesday night, Knight Ridder's Seth Borenstein writes, "On Bush's watch, America's environment deteriorated in many critical areas - including the quality of air in cities and the quality of water that people drink - and gained in very few." LINK

"Mastering the art of staying with your message while deflecting the questions from reporters and interviewers that could put you on the defensive is an essential part of winning debates and, ultimately, of winning elections," writes Joel Benenson on the op-ed page of the Los Angeles Times. LINK

We love the lead of the Philadelphia Inquirer's Dick Polman debate preview so much, we're just copying and pasting it right here: "Tonight marks the final story in the Bush-Kerry debate trilogy, otherwise known as 'Episode III: Attack of the L word.'" LINK

Thomas M. DeFrank quotes "a top Bush adviser (who) said on the eve of the third face-to-face joust between President Bush and Sen. John Kerry" who said of the role Iraq will play in tonight's domestic debate, "There's no way to ignore it even if you're supposed to." LINK

The Washington Times predicts "President Bush will paint John Kerry as a liberal outside the American mainstream at tonight's final debate on domestic issues, confident that the focus on topics traditionally helpful to Democrats can be turned to his advantage." LINK

The Orlando Sentinel's Jim Stratton looks at how important the debates are to undecided voters. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the Tempest in Tempe: local press:

ASU's State Press reports that ASU professors are predicting a Kerry win tonight. LINK

The Arizona Republic prepares its readers for tonight being an all-out brawl. No playing Mr. Nice Guy anymore. LINK

While President Bush was warming up his best material at a Paradise Valley, Ariz., fundraiser last night (LINK), Sen. Kerry stayed in New Mexico earning this Arizona Republic headline in what is less and less a battleground in the eyes of some: "Kerry stalls Phoenix arrival as he prepares in Santa Fe." LINK

However, the Arizona Republic's Jon Kamman Notes a poll conducted by the Social Research Laboratory at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff showing Sen. Kerry only 5 points behind the President there. LINK

Marty Sauerzopf, also of the Arizona Republic, reports that "charisma, confidence and presence" are where it's at tonight. LINK

Folks in Tempe are feeling the impending pressure of two motorcades in one town. LINK

The Arizona Republic Notes the excitement building on the ASU campus. LINK

For those who aren't too cool for school, this is what the State Press deems the:

Places to be: LINK

The numbers to know: LINK

And the place to see: LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the Tempest in Tempe: checking the facts:

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