"The economy is virtually nowhere to be found among the campaign ads of embattled Republican incumbents fighting to hold onto their House or Senate seats. Nor is it showing up as a strong weapon in the arsenal of Republican governors defending their jobs from Democrats."
More Porter: "Republicans' inability to harness an improving economy in their political favor appears mostly to be a function of the weight of other big national issues stacked against them. Prime among them are voters' growing concerns about the costs of the war in Iraq, fed by a stream of American casualties displayed every night on television."
While still making time to appear on the NewsHour with the Washington Post's Jim VandeHei, the New York Times' Adam Nagourney declares an end to the bluffing season and sizes up the battlefield by looking at where the parties are spending their dollars. LINK
"The latest polls show something very strange and quite encouraging is happening: The Republican base seems to be coming back home. This trend, only vaguely and dimly emerging from a variety of polls, suggests that a trend may be afoot that would deny the Democrats control of the House and the Senate," write Dick Morris and Eileen McGann. LINK
"With two weeks to go, anything can happen, but it is beginning to look possible that the Democratic surge in the midterm elections may fall short of control in either House."
Morris echoed these comments on Fox and Friends, although the anchors seemed oddly uninterested.
Roll Call's Stu Rothenberg is optimistic about Democratic chances given that the past four midterm wave elections saw the victorious party winning "52, 48, 48 and 26 seats."
Bloomberg's Rich Miller seems to see some welcome signs from the markets for a divided government in Washington. LINK
If the GOP is within two points or less, Republicans think an effective get-out-the-vote effort could make the difference between winning and losing, writes Roll Call's David Drucker.
Brendan Farrington of the Associated Press profiles Florida races that were once safe for the Republicans. LINK
The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne thinks President Bush's six-year effort to create an enduring Republican majority on a right-leaning coalition "could have the unintended consequence of opening the way for an alternative majority" of the "radical center." LINK
Share the wealth:
Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times writes up the MyDD/MoveOn.org clever movement aimed at shaming Democratic House members with more than $200,000 in their campaign coffers and with no serious competition to give 30 percent of their campaign cash to the DCCC or directly to candidates in competitive races. After the first day, only Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) coughed up more money, reports Zeleny. LINK
"The push offers another example of how the Internet is providing opportunities for activists to influence politics. Still, it's unclear how much pressure the campaign has generated," writes the Los Angeles Times' Ron Brownstein. LINK
Moveon.org is pressuring Rep. Martin Meehan (D-Mass.) and Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who are top targets on the group's list, to give away $1.65 million of $4.9 million and $708,000 of $2.4 million respectively to support Democrats and the DCCC, reports the Boston Globe's Michael Kranish LINK