The Note: From Your First Cigarette

"Still, discontent remains impressive. Just 40 percent of Americans approve of George W. Bush's job performance, the lowest for a president heading into a midterm election since Harry Truman in 1950, when his party lost 29 seats in Congress. Ronald Reagan's rating in 1982 was 42 percent, similar to Bush's now; that year the Republicans lost 26 seats."

The Washington Post's Dan Balz and Jim VandeHei report that the findings of Pew's poll "echoed those of a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Saturday showing the Democrats with a six-point edge." LINK

"The Pew poll showed that the Democratic advantage had dropped to 47 percent to Republicans' 43 percent among likely voters, down from 50 percent to 39 percent two weeks ago. The poll found a drop in Democratic support among independents, but Pew Director Andrew Kohut said the most significant change over the past two weeks is that Republicans now outnumber Democrats among likely voters."

The Washington Post duo have a senior GOP strategist saying that party officials "anticipated that the generic vote would tighten, but they do not consider the shift significant enough to change the contours of this election."

Conversely, Newsweek's Marcus Mabry wrote over the weekend, "As President George W. Bush jets across Red State America this weekend, Republican candidates are falling further behind Democratic rivals, according to the new NEWSWEEK poll. While the GOP has lagged behind Democrats throughout the campaign season, the trend in the past month -- when NEWSWEEK conducted four polls in five weeks -- had suggested the Republicans were building momentum in the homestretch." LINK

"No more. The new poll finds support for Republicans (and for President Bush) receding. For example, 53 percent of Americans want the Democrats to win enough seats to take control of one or both houses of Congress in the midterm elections on Tuesday."

Susan Page reports on USA Today/Gallup Polls that show parallels between 1994 voter preferences in congressional races and those of today -- similar percentages, but the party is switched. LINK

Ken Mehlman's memo to interested parties this morning focuses a bit more on the ABC/WP and Pew polls and a bit less on the Newsweek and Gallup polls.

Morning shows:

"The race is tightening. . . Republican voters are coming home," said ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America." Stephanopoulos also said, "independents are starting to break a little bit away from the Democrats." Diane Sawyer gave the Western outlook, while Claire Shipman from Virginia, David Muir from Tennessee, and Jake Tapper from Ohio filled in the Senate and House pictures.

On Another Network, Matt Lauer tossed to David Gregory for a two-minute piece on the "final push." Meredith Vieira interviewed Chris Matthews for four and a half minutes in the studio, where the Hardballed One said "it's going to be a wipeout" and it's mainly a referendum on the Bush presidency, "I think it's one of the elections where there are only two answers: yes or no."

Closing arguments:

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