The Note: From Your First Cigarette

The Washington Post's Michael Powell looks at efforts on the part of moderate Republicans to blur party lines in Connecticut. LINK

The Washington Times' Charles Hurt picks up on Pelosi telling the San Francisco Chronicle in a Friday interview that she "expects to pick up 22 to 26 seats and said her only concern was that Republicans will rig the election. 'That is the only variable in this,' she said. 'Will we have an honest count?'" LINK

Kevin Landrigan of the Nashua Telegraph reports that the NRCC will have to alter its robocall blitzkrieg for Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH) to exclude those on the Do Not Call registry, after New Hampshire Democratic Chairwoman Kathy Sullivan filed a cease and desist order. LINK


For the Washington Post's Style section, William Booth depicts Asa Hutchison's political troubles in Arkansas, where he is running for governor, as a "signal of the Bush administration's problems with the electorate." LINK

Kevin McDermott of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that GOP challenger Judy Baar Topinka has pulled within striking distance of Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-IL) in the last days of a race that was long considered out of reach for Republicans.LINK

Ballot measures:

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Matt Franck describes the fervor behind Missouri's Amendment 2, which would provide funding for embryonic stem cell research, as there is late momentum in the opposition that could cause it to go down (and bring more "values voters" to the polls Tuesday). LINK

Weekend must-reads:

The four granddaddies and one grandmama were out in full force in Sunday print. If, for some strange reason, you missed them, here are the three stories you need to read from your Sunday papers.

In Sunday's Washington Post, Dan Balz and David Broder wrote that the stage has been set "for a dramatic recasting of the power structure in Washington for President Bush's final two years in office." LINK

"In the battle for the House, Democrats appear almost certain to pick up more than the 15 seats needed to regain the majority. Republicans virtually concede 10 seats, and a split of the 30 tossup races would add an additional 15 to the Democratic column."

Read the Washington Post's 50-state analysis: LINK

In a Sunday Los Angeles Times story arguing that "reports of the death of the swing voter" have been "premature," Ron Brownstein had former NRCC Chair Tom Davis (R-VA) saying: "You can make a more realistic assessment of this when you see where the losses are, but [the message] is going to be that swing voters still count, and sometimes the more you cater to your base, the more you turn off swing voters." LINK

Adam Nagourney and Robin Toner wrote of a (at the time) glum GOP in Sunday's New York Times. LINK


Hillary Clinton and 2008 speculation galore grace the cover of this week's New York magazine.

The Los Angeles Times looks at the power Local 226 may have in the Democratic presidential nomination process with the added Nevada caucus. LINK

Oddly and inexcusably, the words "John Edwards" do not appear in this story. Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA) plans to use the success of Iowa Democratic candidates as one indicator of whether or not he should seek the party's presidential nomination, Notes the Des Moines Register's Thomas Beaumont. LINK

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