The Note: Mature and Incurably Green

"For months, the Republican pollster has espoused 'McInturff's Thesis: If there's a decisive election, it's because the other party becomes a credible alternative.' Until now, he has argued, voters' doubts about Democrats were standing in the way of the party making significant gains. But yesterday, the Republican pollster agreed with Mr. Hart that voters now see Democrats as at least 'a marginally acceptable alternative.'"

Looking at poll results that show half of independents wanting Democrats to take charge, while only a quarter of them back Republicans, McInturff said: "It's very unusual to see a majority of independents pick one political party."

And then there's his kicker quote on how voters view the situation in Iraq.

"By 40% to 31%, a plurality of voters now see the situation in Iraq as a civil war among Iraqis, rather than a war between American troops and foreign terrorists there. Significantly, Mr. McInturff said, that assessment is shared by those who voted for Mr. Bush in 2004 and those who supported Democratic Sen. Jon Kerry for president -- groups that agree on little else."

"If Americans continue to see U.S. troops caught in the middle of a civil war, Mr. McInturff said, 'that will ratchet up the pressure to terminate our deployment in Iraq.'"

President Bush, who does not govern by the polls (although he sometimes campaigns based on them) is out politicking for two embattled GOP candidates today. First, he campaigns for Rep. Don Sherwood (R-PA) at 2:00 pm ET at Keystone College in La Plume, PA. Despite hailing from a district that went for President Bush in 2004 by 20 points, Sherwood is in an extremely competitive race with Democrat Chris Carney as a result of an extramarital affair and an allegation that he had choked his former mistress.

At 5:40 pm ET, Mr. Bush campaigns with Sen. George Allen (R-VA) at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond, VA. Allen is neck and neck with challenger Democrat Jim Webb after a pretty rough summer on the stump for the incumbent.

Continuing the thematic, the House Majority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and former House Clerk Jeff Trandahl testify before the House ethics committee in Washington, DC. Trandahl arrived at 9:04 am ET to begin his testimony, reports ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf.

Former President Bill Clinton speaks at a rally at 3:15 pm ET for Rep. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and gubernatorial candidate Martin O'Malley (D-MD) in Baltimore, MD.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) attends the 61st Annual Alfred E. Smith Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, NY at 7:20 pm ET.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean speaks at 3:30 pm ET at the Minnesota DFL College Forum at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman attends a Montgomery County Republican Committee Dinner at 7:30 pm ET in Eagleville, PA.

Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA) heads to Valley Glen, CA to discuss education policy and reform with California gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides (D-IL) at 1:00 pm ET at the Los Angeles Valley College.

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Nevada gubernatorial candidate Dina Titus (D-NV) discuss senior citizen issues at 4:00 pm ET in Las Vegas, NV.

Newt Gingrich speaks at 8:45 pm ET at the Lean Sigma Healthcare Transformation Summit in Tempe, AZ.

George interviews George:

Be sure to check out George Stephanopoulos' newsy and fascinating exclusive interview with President Bush here: LINK

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