The Note: Reasoning Adroitly and Speciously . . .

Democrats are within striking distance in the battle for control of the Senate but it is going to be a very tight squeeze with Democrats needing to do well among rural voters in highly contested states according to a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll. Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times explores the numbers. LINK

"Capturing a Senate majority is within the Democrats' reach, but the party is facing potentially decisive resistance from rural voters in three critical Republican-leaning states, a series of Times/Bloomberg polls has found.

If Democrats can't break through on Nov. 7 to win the Senate races in at least two of those three states — Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia — they are unlikely to control the chamber."

More on the LA Times/Bloomberg poll. LINK


On "Good Morning America," ABC's Jake Tapper looked at various political ads running in key races this season, with an emphasis on the negative.

Chastened by the experiences of 2002 and 2004 losses, Democrats won't count votes before they're cast, reports the Washington Times' Amy Fagan and Ralph Z. Hallow in a story that comes complete with a front-page photo of a cautiously optimistic Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL). LINK

Julie Mason of the Houston Chronicle writes that the GOP slips in the polls in Pennsylvania House and Senate races could be indicative of a nationwide GOP decline. LINK

The Hill's Jonathan Kaplan has a sunny Rove forecasting big GOP wins as he campaigned for Rep. Bob Ney replacement Joy Padgett (R-OH) in Washington last week, and/but Kaplan Notes the hefty skepticism from both sides. LINK

2006: Senate: Tennessee: Playboy politics and the race card:

Bonna de la Cruz of the Nashville Tennessean reports that Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-TN) now admits he attended a Playboy party, "I was there, I like football, and I like girls. I don't have…no apologies for that." Earlier this week, Rep. Ford told George Stephanopoulos that he has never been to a Playboy "mansion" party. LINK

The Washington Post's Shailagh Murray reports that Republican Bob Corker's attacks "appear to have thrown Ford somewhat off-stride in recent days. ...But some Republicans are concerned Corker is not working hard enough to whip up support in his party, in particular among the socially conservative voters who preferred his primary opponents, former representatives Van Hilleary and Ed Bryant." LINK

Ford's campaign called on Tennessee television stations Tuesday to cease airing a new RNC television ad that says he voted to "recognize gay marriage" and "wants to give the abortion pill to our schoolchildren," charges his lawyers called false and libelous," reports Richard Locker of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. LINK

Clay Bailer of the Memphis Commercial Appeal describes Corker's visit to his opponent's "home turf." LINK

Politics of pharmaceuticals:

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