The Note: A Lifetime in Politics

"The caustic back-and-forth came as the two men raced across the country to the handful of states that remain tossups in the Nov. 2 election. As the campaign days dwindle, both sides are playing a fast-paced chess game to get the 270 electoral votes needed to win," write the Los Angeles Times' Barabak and Finnegan of the ratcheted up rhetoric in the final days. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush v. Kerry:

The Chicago Tribune's Jeff Zeleny writes, "Both candidates have been trading unrelenting attacks for months, but Bush has turned up the volume on his critique, belittling Kerry as ill-suited to protect the nation. Kerry continues to offer sharp criticism, but his remarks are now infused with a positive vision as he strives to show what his Democratic administration would look like." LINK

USA Today 's Keen and Lawrence might be running out of different ways to write the same lead that manifests itself each day. Terror, incompetence, weak, harsh, etc. LINK

USA Today 's Mark Memmott deconstructs television appearance decision making in the final week. LINK

Susan Page calls new voters the "X-factor." LINK

Deb Orin calls the World Series the "X-factor," writing, "Some analysts say Republicans are more likely than Democrats to watch the games (except in Boston) and less likely to talk to phone pollsters on weekend game days." LINK

USA Today 's editorial board thinks scared and motivated is ok. LINK

The New York Post 's front page is a letter from a military dad saying "Kerry makes me weak in the ankles — and now it's personal, not business." LINK

The Boston Herald's Noelle Straub reports that Karl Rove "taunted" Kerry "for having to roll Bill Clinton 'off the operating table' onto the campaign trail in order to boost his shaky Democratic base." LINK

The New York Times ' Jim Dwyer on Al Gore's return to where he ended the 2000 race — Broward county, FL — and his calling the administration a "catastrophically failed presidency." LINK

Repeat it like a mantra going into next Tuesday, because both sides have been: turnout, turnout, turnout. Al Hunt looks at what polls can tell us about it. LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's Charles Forelle on the "elite cadre of political amateurs unleashing the tools of statistics and mathematics on an extraordinarily close presidential race." LINK

E.J. Dionne sees an intensity gap between Kerry and Bush supporters. LINK

The great Greg Mitchell of Editor and Publisher sends along his latest endorsement tally: LINK

The liberal 527s in Hawaii? LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Nick Anderson looks at how each campaign has remained largely consistent with its paid media approach since March 3. LINK

"President Bush, a fleeting presence in many of his own commercials, wants them to fear terrorists, big government and the Democratic challenger."

"Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, star and narrator of many of his own spots, wants to reassure them that he has a better plan than Bush for Iraq, healthcare, jobs and just about everything."

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush vs. Kerry: legal wars:

The Washington Post 's Farhi and Becker write that the Ohio election is becoming "confused — and potentially chaotic." LINK

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