The Note: From Your First Cigarette

In a page one story, the Wall Street Journal's David Rogers writes that how much change comes out of tomorrow could turn on how voters -- "particularly independents" -- resolve these questions: "How much has Iraq trumped the larger war against terror, which two years ago was the president's great link to swing voters? How effectively have Republicans used a tough-on-immigration and antitax posture to counter the erosion of support for the war? How unshakable is the economic pessimism in the Midwest? And what is the lasting impact of political scandals, topped by former Rep. Mark Foley's sexual approaches to former teenage pages?" LINK

In a possible sign of anger at the two parties, Rogers Notes that purple tie-wearing Eric Eidsness, a candidate of the Reform Party, has "swept up Colorado newspaper endorsements" in Colorado's fourth congressional district.

The New York Times' Christopher Drew reports that a new telemarketing campaign arranged by the conservative group Common Sense Ohio appears to be a "twist on a push poll," and some political analyst believe may be misleading voters. LINK

In his column in the Chicago Sun-Times, Robert Novak sees the nationalizing of the elections (good news for Democrats), not tied directly to President Bush's recent campaigning, but ultimately to his decision to invade Iraq. LINK


The only question remaining for many analysts in the battle for the House is how big the Democrats' gain will be -- but the Senate is another issue because in order to deliver a knockout punch Dems have to do something that they've struggled to do for a very long time. Democrats will not take the Senate without breaking through states such as Missouri, Montana and Virginia meaning that Democrats must "cross the last mile with voters in right-of-center communities whose partisan and cultural inclinations usually bend them to the GOP in the end" writes Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times. LINK

The Washington Post has final snap-shot looks at Senate races in:

Pennsylvania: LINK

Missouri: LINK

Ohio: LINK

Tennessee: LINK

Montana: LINK

And everyone will likely continue to watch Michigan today -- just in case.


If you want to see how the Iraq issue is playing in a handful of key House contests, take a look at the Philadelphia suburbs. LINK

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Democratic Iraq vet Patrick Murphy both brought in decorated war veterans Sunday: Rep. Murtha for Murphy and Sen. McCain for Fitzpatrick.

"Both veterans acknowledged 'mistakes' were made in Iraq - though, like the candidates they support, they differ on what needs to be done in Iraq."

"Not surprising," writes the Philadelphia Inquirer's Christine Schiavo and Larry Eichel, "there was no mention of President Bush at the Fitzpatrick rally. 'This is going to be a very tough election,' McCain said."

"Asked whether he would support Murphy's plan to withdraw all but a small strike force from Iraq, Murtha said, 'I'll accept any kind of compromise that would start with that process.'"

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Chris Mondics writes that no matter which party controls Congress after the election, public discontent with the war will force Congress to make changes in their Iraq policy." LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper looks at the Ohio House seats and how Democrats could know early tomorrow whether they can take the House depending on Fred Barnes' "Blow Out Belt" of Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut. LINK

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