The Note: Approximately 3/5th of the Gang's All Here

Times poll, day two: higher favorability ratings for Bloomberg; still net negative approvals; New Yorkers can't name a "good" thing he's done; he loses in head-to-head against an unnamed Dem; New Yorkers disapprove with his takeover of the Board of Ed and more generally, of the state of public schools; 53 percent of GOPers have a good impression of the mayor. LINK

Two takes of the Mayor's campaign kick-off last night: the Post's Seifman on the substance -- LINK


The New York Times' editorial board ponders the several sides of Gov. Pataki: Northeastern moderate or New York politician of old. It wants more of the former; less of the latter. LINK

The New York Observer concludes it is not too early to write Gov. Pataki's obituary, reminding us that Medicaid and education funding could doom his political fate even if Fred Dicker cannot. LINK

Kieran Mahoney and others say the Governor is poised for a comeback, though.

Roll Call's Chris Cillizza writes that the Senate Democratic leadership are pushing those up for re-election in 2006 to commit as soon as possible to get the money ball rolling.

The DSCC will no doubt be doing its best today to inform you all about the Quinnipiac University poll results out of Pennsylvania today. The poll shows Republican Sen. Santorum trailing Democratic Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. 46 percent to 41 percent (MOE: +/- 2.8%) in a head to head general election match-up.

But the Blue State Republican's approval rating appears relatively healthy to us (52 percent approve, 31 percent disapprove) with no small help from the 36 percent of Democrats who give a thumbs up to the way Santorum handles his job.

Lots o' money, time, and support are going to be poured into this one, so keep your eyes on it!

Expect a Senate announcement next week from Rep. Harold Ford (D-TN), report The Hill's Bob Cusack and Hans Nichols. LINK


Cindy Adams sez that author Ed Klein has Sen. Clinton in his sights. LINK

Giuliani in Arizona next week for Sen. Kyl funder, per reports. LINK

Not in the Union Leader online, but in it nonetheless: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is scheduled to visit New Hampshire on March 4 for the Lincoln-Reagan Dinner.

On Sunday, "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" hosts former Sen. John Edwards for his first post-election interview, in which he'll talk about Democratic politics, the work of the One America Committee, and his new post at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity.

The Granite State:

Gov. John Lynch (D-NH) turned in a two-year budget yesterday short on new programs and new spending, but big on raising $87 million in revenue by increasing taxes -- on cigarettes, to 80 cents a pack from the current 52 cents. The money would go to the Education Trust Fund. Details from the (Manchester) Union Leader LINK; the Concord Monitor LINK and LINK; and the Nashua Telegraph. LINK

In the Concord Monitor, New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Kathy Sullivan makes her case against the bill passed last week in the state House to make it tougher for independent voters to switch back to their independent status after casting their ballots in the primary, pledging to work to allow independents to vote in the Democratic primary should the bill pass the state Senate. LINK


Liz Cheney is back to work as deputy assistant secretary of state for the Near East, AP reports. LINK

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