The Note: Weakness Attracts Those Who Are Waiting

"'Our other candidates saw Brown's success,' says Poersch, 'and they began to feel confident that they could survive Republican national-security attacks.'"

ABC News' Jake Tapper, Avery Miller, and Vija Udenans write that while Democrats are united in their opposition to the Iraq war, they do not agree on a comprehensive plan for Iraq because "it's much easier to call for change than to present a detailed plan of your own that can be criticized itself." Here is the abcnews.com version of the story that aired on "World News" Sunday evening. LINK

Tapper chatted with some Buckeyes at a Columbus, OH diner this morning on "Good Morning America" to take the pulse of the country. LINK

In what is certainly not the first story of its kind and will likely not be the last, the Los Angeles Times takes a closer look at the nearly $300 million of unregulated funds that are wielding an enormous amount of influence in this election. Stephanie Simon reports that 527s and other independent groups are bankrolling issues pushed by both Democrats and Republicans including Proposition 90 in California and an anti-abortion ad running on radio stations in Ohio claiming that Democrats want to abort black babies. LINK

Low unemployment, cheaper gasoline, and a strong stock market may not be enough protection for GOP incumbents against a middle class that feels "squeezed." Brendan Murray of Bloomberg News writes up Republican struggles in Minnesota and Colorado. LINK

The Hartford Courant's Lightman reports that the mood across the country remains that many people are fed up with Republicans, but not sure they want to vote for Democrats. LINK

Kevin McDermott of the Quad-City Times reports that a new poll conducted for the Quad-City times, Post-Dispatch, and Lee Enterprise Newspapers shows that in Illinois, a solid Blue state, less than a third of Republicans support President Bush. Mr. Bush did slightly better in Missouri, with half of respondents giving the President an unfavorable rating. LINK

Jon Craig of the Cincinnati Enquirer describes the eight-day ruckus in the Buckeye State that is certain to go down until polls close next Tuesday. LINK

Larry Eichel of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that voters in the critical Philadelphia suburbs appear revved up and ready to cast their ballots this year. LINK

The New York Times' Jodi Kantor zooms in on the climate in Bellevue, WA, a comfortable suburb of Seattle and former liberal Republican stronghold where the mood has shifted toward the Democrats. "The Schiavo case. Tapping people without a warrant. Whether or not people are gay," said one resident, "Let people be free! It's not government's job to interfere with those things." LINK

2006: House: NM-01:

Mark Z. Barabak of the Los Angeles Times writes that the House race in Albuquerque, NM between Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) and her challenger state Attorney General Patricia Madrid (D-NM) is a microcosm for the national battle between Democrats and Republicans this year. LINK

"The issues and advertisements that have played across this high-desert district offer a panorama of the year in politics. There has been scandal, with cameo mentions of former Reps. Tom DeLay, Randy "Duke" Cunningham and Mark Foley. Stem-cell research, soaring gas prices and rising healthcare costs have been discussed, along with the sway of special interests in Washington and Santa Fe, the state capital."

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