Make sure to tune into "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" on Sunday when George goes on the Tennessee campaign trail with Bob Corker and Harold Ford, Jr. and brings you the latest from one of the hottest Senate races in the country. Can't wait until Sunday? You don't have to. Check out the "This Week All Week" web cast here: LINK
See below for more Friday schedule items and a look at the weekend ahead in politics.
In a must-read look at how the GOP is redirecting funds from faltering races, the Washington Post's Dan Balz and Jim VandeHei report that Democrats have "ordered up polls" in a dozen or more second-tier districts and "now face a critical choice: whether to place bets on a few of these districts in the hope of expanding the field of competitive seats, or concentrate advertising dollars as planned on the roughly 20 to 25 districts where the odds appear most favorable." LINK
Balz and VandeHei go on to report that Republican and Democratic operatives seem to agree that the GOP is on course to lose a minimum of 12 seats and a maximum of 25 to 30.
And don't miss this: "Among those where spending is heaviest are three races in Indiana, where Republican incumbents are running scared. More than $4 million had been spent there as of the beginning of the week. Other races where money has flowed freely include two districts in Connecticut -- another state where Republicans are on the defensive -- and districts in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, New Mexico, New York and Virginia."
"'We're seeing relatively safe House districts with candidates up on the air five weeks out,' said Evan Tracey, chief operating officer of TNSMI/CMAG. 'They would have been on two to three weeks out at the earliest in past elections. . . . No one is safe.'"
It truly is your must-read of the day, so stop whatever else you are doing and go read the whole thing. . . TWICE!
Mark Warner bows out: who benefits?:
To the delight of a set of Bayh donors who have grown tired with his glowing George Magazine profile from the 1990s, the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza writes that the "most obvious Democrat to benefit from Warner's surprise announcement, in the view of many party strategists, is Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.)." LINK
Cillizza adds that if Warner's decision shifts the 2008 center of gravity leftward, the candidate "best positioned to capitalize on the change may be" Edwards.
The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire reports that Warner's decision could "lift the profiles of governors Vilsack of Iowa and Richardson of New Mexico, fellow Southerner Edwards of North Carolina, and centrist alternative Sen. Bayh of Indiana."
"The Democratic Party primary electorate . . . is considerably to the left of Warner, says strategist Carter Eskew."
The Wire also has Daily Kos seeing the Warner announcement as good for Edwards and Gov. Richardson, MyDD readers speculating about Sen. Obama, and Confessions of a Hoosier Democrat seeing the decision as good for Sen. Bayh. LINK
The New York Times' Nagourney sees Sen. Clinton, Sen. Bayh, and John Edwards as the big winners. LINK
The New York Daily News on the same: LINK
The New York Post's Ian Bishop sees the path clearing for Sen. Clinton in the wake of Warner's announcement. LINK
Jill Lawrence of USA Today touts winners Bayh and Edwards. LINK
The Washington Times says Sen. Clinton benefits. LINK