The Note: Polls Versus Guts

The New York Daily News' Helen Kennedy has the last ditch punches: "Barnstorming in the red states, [President Bush] all but said Democrats love terrorists. Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean called Bush worse than Richard Nixon because at least Nixon was competent. And everybody said John Kerry should just shut up." LINK

The Las Vegas Review Journal writes up President Bush's Elko, NV appearance with Rep. Jim Gibbons, Sen. Ensign, and Dean Heller all representing the Silver State GOP ticket. LINK

The Washington Times' Joseph Curl: The New York Sun's intrepid Josh Gerstein reports Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) called for a deadline for troop withdrawal from Iraq in a television interview yesterday. LINK

GOP agenda:

The Wall Street Journal's Jackie Calmes does her post-mortem early, writing that the "widespread sense that Republicans in Congress have lost their way, drifting into the same abuses they had pledged to end, helps explain why many, like" Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) "are in trouble. The Republicans' 1994 'Contract with America' vowed to shrink government, balance the budget and limit members' terms. The Republicans said they would end Congress's 'cycle of scandal and disgrace.' That contract is now broken, conservatives say, as the former rebels have morphed into an establishment clinging to power. The national debt now nears $9 trillion. Rather than curb entitlement programs' growth, Republicans created a new one -- Medicare's prescription-drug benefit -- and rejected President Bush's call to overhaul Social Security. Their original vow to kick the pork barrel has given way to gorging on 'earmarks' -- funds lawmakers specifically set aside for special projects -- in the annual appropriations bills. There have been a number of corruption probes."

The Washington Post's Alan Cooperman and Juliet Eilperin report that Dick Armey and James Dobson are "going after each other tooth and claw." LINK

Rev. Ted Haggard resigns:

The Washington Post's Alan Cooperman calls Haggard a "staunch ally of the Bush administration" and writes that "some political observers said his resignation was more bad news for Republicans trying to rally their conservative Christian base to turn out for the midterm elections." LINK

Democratic agenda:

The Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer, following in the Barone/Barnes footsteps to take the sting out of any GOP losses, lays out who he thinks will be defeated on Tuesday while arguing that a Democratic win won't mean much because the party did not lay out a "coherent alternative to the current policy" in Iraq. LINK

The Washington Times' Gregory Lopes looks at the Democrats' push for embryonic stem-cell research and letting Medicare negotiate for lower drug prices. LINK

"Though it is impossible to say what would have happened had the minimum not been raised," the Wall Street Journal's Deborah Solomon report that Oregon's experience with a minimum wage hike "suggests the most strident doomsayers were wrong. Private, nonfarm payrolls are up 8% over the past four years, nearly twice the national increase. Wages are up, too. Job growth is strong in industries employing many minimum-wage workers, such as restaurants and hotels. Oregon's estimated 5.4% unemployment rate for 2006, though higher than the national average, is down from 7.6% in 2002, when the state was emerging from a recession." LINK

Pelosi politics:

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