The Note: Stay on the Offense

As a result of the darkening mood about Iraq, "voters want Democrats, rather than Republicans, to control Congress by 52% to 37%, a 15-point margin. The spread matches the widest ever recorded on this question in a Journal/NBC poll."

The Washington Post's Dan Balz writes that 2006 is all about President Bush. LINK

"His name is not on any ballot this fall, but George W. Bush is the central issue of campaign 2006. . . Other issues may come into play, congressional scandals and performance among them, but in the end, next week's verdict will be remembered for what it says about this president."

Tensions between moderates and conservatives Republicans in New York state have compounded a party already struggling from the shock waves sent across the state by strong campaigns from Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and gubernatorial candidate Eliot Spitzer (D-NY). Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times with an analysis of the GOP troubles in the Empire state and Democrats hopes for big congressional gains. LINK

Dick Morris writes in his column for The Hill that Republicans can still win if its base voters want it badly enough, writing that recent polling shows independents shifting toward the GOP while Republican base voters are deserting it. LINK

Aside from President Bush and Sen. Kerry sparring like it's 2004 and George Allen's campaign workers roughing up a man, Ron Brownstein and James Gerstenzang Note that the Senate really is in play based on new polls released in the last two days. LINK

Conversely, Ralph Z. Hallow of the Washington Times breaks down the 2006 Senate contest race by race with this this lede: "Republicans say the latest evidence gives them reason to think they will maintain control of the Senate, although Vice President Dick Cheney may not feel free to leave Washington often during the next two years." LINK

Susan Page of USA Today profiles the new generation of African American politicians who are a bit different from the current crop of senior black MOC's. LINK

"Unlike senior black members of Congress, they are too young to have joined the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. They often haven't gone to historically black colleges or launched careers at black churches. Instead, many graduated from Ivy League colleges and pursued careers at big law firms. They often advocate pragmatism over ideology and aspire -- like white politicians -- to the most powerful elected offices in the country."

Kate Zernike of the New York Times speculates what would happen if the Senate breaks a 50-50 tie between Republicans and Democrats. LINK

Politics of Iraq:

Keying off of the mailer by the Republican Federal Committee of Pennsylvania accusing Democrat Chris Carney of failing the nation on pre-Iraq war intelligence, the Wall Street Journal's Yochi Dreazen reports that "some Republican candidates" are playing down their past support for the war and beginning to sound like their Democratic opponents when discussing the conflict."

Note the tip of the hat to the New York Sun for reporting about the Carney mailer first.

Democratic agenda:

The Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman crunches the numbers on the Democrats' "Six for Six" campaign agenda. LINK

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