The Note: Bringing It Home

There are Bush advisers more bullish on Ohio than Florida (and vice versa) and Kerry advisers more bullish on Ohio than Florida (and vice versa).

The toplines: LINK

Adam Nagourney and Janet Elder write up the new New York Times/CBS News poll, which has Bush at 49 percent and Kerry at 46 percent -- a statistical tie -- among likely voters but shows an increase in the President's job approval rating (49 percent from 44 percent two weeks ago) and a right track number that has ticked up to 43 percent from 37 percent two weeks ago -- the highest number since Saddam Hussein was captured, the duo Note. LINK

Among the African-American voters polled, 79 percent said they expect a deliberate effort to prevent them from voting (compared to 28 percent among white respondents).

Poll wrap: LINK

The new (and last before the election) Gallup poll has Bush and Kerry tied at 49% among likely voters, with some energetic pushing of undecideds to Mr. Kerry. LINK

Gallup state polls: LINK

USA Today's Susan Page reports, "Across the dozen battleground states expected to determine the winner, Kerry holds a 5-percentage-point edge — including small leads among likely voters in the critical states of Ohio and Florida. He trails by a similar margin in the third big battleground, Pennsylvania." LINK

Knight Ridder's Steven Thomma reports on the new Mason-Dixon polls for Knight Ridder and MSNBC that show Bush with "strong leads in three of the 15 battleground states surveyed -- Arkansas, Colorado, and West Virginia -- all states he carried in 2000. He held a six-point lead in Nevada and narrower leads in six others." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush vs. Kerry: where things stand:

The Chicago Tribune's Zuckman and Silva write, "The chase-the-sun, no-moment-to-lose nature of the campaigning reinforced what a raft of new national and, more important, battleground-state polls showed -- that the race appeared to be a statistical draw and likely would be decided by modest swings of voters whom the campaigns are targeting with a surgical precision." LINK

USA Today's Judy Keen writes that Bush's advisers "say they believe he is gaining in Florida" and "acknowledge that his support in Ohio dipped last week but believe he can still win there." LINK

The Washington Post's Romano and Allen wrap Sunday on the trail. LINK

"State polls offered few clues to the outcome, with Ohio and Florida still the most significant and hotly contested states. Strategists on both sides expressed optimism Sunday about their candidate's chances of winning Florida and said Ohio remains too close to call."

The New York Times has excellent peeks into the moods of the candidates in the final days: turns out they're both loose and (apparently) enjoying themselves. LINK and LINK

USA Today's editorial board Notes that each candidate "is rated 'highly unfavorable' by more voters than any major-party candidate since 1964 GOP nominee Barry Goldwater -- the byproduct of a caustic campaign, a divisive war and a presidency that voters love or loathe." LINK

The New York Times' David Halbfinger and Jim Rutenberg create a sense of drama by throwing the phrase "epic cacophony of advertisements" into the lede of their wrap of Sunday's events and the $60 million spent on campaign spots this cycle. LINK

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