The Note: From Your First Cigarette

WASHINGTON, Nov. 6

All politics is local, except when it is national, and elections are always about the future, except when they are about the past.

With those two matters cleared up . . . .

What Republicans have:

The ground game (read this super-mega-must-read Los Angeles Times story now LINK, and then come back to The Note); Gallup; Ken Mehlman; the practical and psychological power of the Bush-Rove five-election winning streak; Vice President Cheney off the trail for the last 48 hours; FLOTUS; "we might not be perfect, but have you gotten a load of them!?"; Dr. Dobson.

What Democrats have:

Iraq; change versus more of the same; anti-Bush feeling; the everything's-relative steely discipline of Dean/Pelosi/Reid; the sixth-year itch; well-recruited candidates who have followed Rahm's and Chuck's First Rule ("Don't f--k this up."); John Kerry off the trail; Bill Clinton on the trail; scandals (which the White House will be sure to tell you on Wednesday cost their side a dozen House seats); Rumsfeld and the Army Times.

President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush campaign all day together beginning in Florida at a Florida Victory rally in Pensacola at 2:25 pm ET.

Republican Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, who was originally scheduled to attend the rally with President Bush has decided to campaign elsewhere in the Sunshine State today. Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL) of the 2000 Florida recount fame and GOP Senate candidate is scheduled to attend. (Insert your own joke or Frank Richian coda here.)

Public and private polling in Florida shows that Crist has seen a 15 point lead a few weeks ago drop down to a mid-to-high single digit lead now.

"President Bush and Charlie Crist are the only two politicians in America who believe that our state and our nation should stay the course," said Davis for Governor communication director Josh Earnest. "Since they have so much in common and Charlie Crist thinks President Bush deserves a 'B,' then why won't he show up to campaign with him?"

Davis does not intend to cede all the local news coverage to the President today. After events in Jacksonville and Tallahassee, the Democrat plans to campaign in Pensacola, FL at 5:30 pm ET.

President and Mrs. Bush then head to an Arkansas Victory rally with GOP Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson at 5:25 pm ET, followed by a Governor 2006 rally with Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) in Dallas, TX at 8:00 pm ET. The First Couple overnights at the "Western White House" in Crawford, TX.

In a tailor-made-for-Jon-Stewart development, Vice President Cheney has concluded his 2006 campaigning and is participating in his annual hunting trip. The White House insists that Cheney is not avoiding being out on the trail, he's simply keeping his long planned excursion, reports ABC News' Karen Travers. This is the first time Mr. Cheney has gone hunting since he shot and wounded his friend Harry Whittington in February.

Travers also reports that Cheney was in South Dakota on a hunting trip for the midterm elections in 2002. The White House also Notes that Cheney has done 117 total campaign events -- 59 House events, 20 Senate events, 4 gubernatorial events, and 34 events for the national Republican Party committees and state Republican parties. Cheney did four victory rallies in the last week. The AP has it too: LINK

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