The Note: Thumbs on Both Sides of the Scale

On Sunday, Todd J. Gillman of the Dallas Morning News charted McCain's progress towards gaining an edge in Texas, where support for the Republican nominee is up for grabs for the first time in a long time. LINK

Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the New York Times wrote up Sen. Allen's recent travels to Iowa while keeping an eye on his reelection campaign at home in Virginia. LINK

"Fiscal conservatives seem to like him, but social conservatives are uneasy. 'He's got a good voting record,' said Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, 'but the question is how committed is he,'" wrote Stolberg.

"State-sanctioned gambling has exploded by 158 percent since Gov. Pataki took office nearly a dozen years ago," according to a New York Post analysis. LINK

Holly Bailey of Newsweek writes up Rep. Tom Tancredo's (R-CO) potential quest to make immigration a top issue in the 2008 presidential contest. LINK

"If Republican presidential candidates don't put the problem atop the agenda in 2008, he says he'll run himself, just to force the front runners to talk about it. Not that he thinks he'd win the White House. He declares himself 'too fat, too short and too bald' to be president. If the Republicans lose the election because he's too tough on the issue, he says, 'So be it.'"

The AP has John Cox, "a wealthy Chicago investment adviser and political unknown," testing the waters in New Hampshire for a GOP presidential nomination. LINK

2008: Democrats:

Anne Kornblut and Raymond Hernandez of the New York Times (with the help of David Axelord, Chris Lehane, and Paul Begala) offer a key expectations-setting look at some perceived electoral goals for Sen. Clinton this year including a Bush/Rove-style plan to outperform herself from 2000 among unlikely constituencies such as upstate and suburban historically Republican strongholds. LINK

The New York Post Notes Sen. Clinton has 37 staffers on the combined HILLPAC and Friends of Hillary payroll. LINK

Sen. Clinton is lending her fundraising prowess to a cause near and dear to former Sen. Al D'Amato (R-Whitewater), reports Fred Dicker of the New York Post. LINK

Washington Times' Greg Pierce Notes that Republicans yesterday on "This Week" were dismissive of Sen. Clinton's statements that efforts to prevent illegal immigration were un-Christian. LINK

John Kerry's legal defense fund for a defamation suit filed against him is up and running. However, the New York Times Notes, no funds have yet been solicited for it. LINK

While in New Hampshire last week, Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) "presented himself as a Democrat who could beat a Republican on a national scale" and drew standing ovations by making it clear "he wants things to stay as they are -- with no other contests between Iowa and New Hampshire," writes Benjamin Kepple of the Union Leader. LINK

"Bayh's remarks separate him from some potential Democratic Presidential candidates, such as Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). Richardson and Kerry have said they are fine with adding a caucus between Iowa and New Hampshire's contest."

James Pindell of Notes that Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) was busy solidifying his position as a moderate (read: electable) Democrat this weekend in New Hampshire by criticizing Sen. Feingold's censure move and focusing on 2008… um, 2006. LINK

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