The Note: Spending All the Time in the Vanity Factory

The Wall Street Journal's Christopher Conkey reports for the newspaper's Personal Journal section that voter ID laws are "sparking confusion, partisan rancor and a frenzy of legal challenges in the days leading up to the midterm elections."

"Smartmatic Corp. whose voting machines will be used in midterm elections next week, says it adopted a complicated ownership structure to minimize taxes and protect intellectual property, and not to mask any control by Venezuela's government," the Wall Street Journal's Bob Davis reports.

2006: landscape:

"When looked at on a race-by-race basis, their advantage is not so clear," writes Adam Nagourney of the New York Times on the focus some Democrats have put on nationwide polls. LINK

The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne reflects Democrats' view of the Republican strategy perfectly. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's John McKinnon and Erika Lovley report that Republicans say early-voting statistics suggest their voter-turnout machine is providing an edge. Democrats contend, however, that Republicans are exaggerating their successes by highlighting a few races, while ignoring wider problems. LINK

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed looking at the "six-year itch," Michael Barone writes that ideas are more important than partisan vote counts. Consequently, he doubts that the midterm elections of 2006 will have the "sweeping partisan or policy consequences of the midterm elections of 1874 and 1894, or 1938 and 1994."

On "Good Morning America," ABC News' Claire Shipman reported on Karl Rove's optimism. Shipman said Rove is optimistic because many of the seats his party is defending are those of incumbents, Republicans thus-far proven better GOTV operation, and he's optimistic because it breeds more optimism among his troops.

Robin Roberts interviewed Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-DCCC) and questioned him on why Americans should "say yes" to Democrats which gave Emanuel the opportunity to use his New Direction talking points and call for a change of course in Iraq.

A Bloomberg News review of candidates in this year's most competitive House and Senate races reveals that only six candidates in the 28 most competitive races mention the alternative minimum tax that is set to gradually impose $1.35 trillion in additional taxes over the next 10 years. Ryan J. Donmoyer looks at the "AMT" -- which some are calling a "Time Bomb" that no one is addressing. LINK

William Roberts of Bloomberg News writes that unlike 2004 when some Republicans thought that their statewide initiatives were key in their victories in the House, Senate, and presidential contests, this year, the war and security are dominating everything else. LINK

The New York Times' Kirk Johnson highlights the under-reported effect a pro-Democrat wave could have on state legislatures, "Most significantly, the groundwork for redrawing Congressional districts after the 2010 census will be done under the 50 capitol domes. . . " LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Yochi Dreazen looks at Democratic efforts to close the micro-targeting gap with Republicans. Gregory Korte of the Cincinnati Enquirer details the negative ads used thus far this election cycle and questions where to draw the line. LINK

The Cincinnati Enquirer's Mike Rutledge finds that young voters (ages 18-27) are -- much like the electorate at large -- concerned about the war and economic issues when deciding for whom to vote. LINK

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