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

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), chairman of DSCC holds an on-camera briefing to discuss Senate races -- and Iraq -- today at 1:00 pm ET at the Mott House Conference Room adjacent to the DSCC headquarters in Washington, DC.

Sen. George Allen (R-VA) attended a rally at the Vienna Metro Station with Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) at 7:00 am ET in Vienna, VA. Later, Allen attends rallies at Norfolk International Airport in Norfolk, VA at 12:00 pm ET, Wyndham Roanoke Hotel at 2:30 pm ET in Roanoke, VA and at Richmond International Airport at 5:30 pm ET.

Allen's opponent Jim Webb (D-VA) campaigns all over Virginia with former Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Gov. Tim Kaine (D-VA). Their first stop was in Roanoke at 8:30 am ET. Webb is joined on the trail by Bill Clinton at a rally in Alexandria, VA at 5:15 pm ET.

President Clinton then heads back up to Rhode Island for what Democrats hope will provide a last-minute boost to Sheldon Whitehouse's efforts to defeat Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI). The Clinton/Whitehouse rally is planned for 9:00 pm ET in Warwick, RI.

Clinton's former Number Two, Vice President Al Gore, rallies with Rep. Ben Cardin (D-MD) at 2:00 pm ET in Silver Spring, MD.

Sen. Hillary Clinton marked a campaign stop at the Parkchester subway stop at 6:45 am ET in Bronx, NY. Mrs. Clinton also was scheduled to speak at the USS Intrepid "On Leave" ceremony at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum at 8:45 am ET in New York, NY.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) started off a busy campaign swing through the South today attending two GOTV rallies for Republican senatorial candidate Bob Corker. The Senator was to make two stops this morning with Corker at 7:00 am ET in Johnson City, TN and at 9:30 am ET in Knoxville, TN.

McCain also attends an event for GOP gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist at Sheltair Aviation Services airport in Jacksonville, FL at 11:30 am ET. (That's right, Crist canceled his plans to be with President Bush, but still plans to stand with Sen. McCain today. Insert your own Rove-Weaver wry remark here.)

This afternoon, McCain attends a GOTV rally for Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) at Eclipse Aviation at 4:30 pm ET in Albuquerque, NM. Mr. McCain later attends a GOTV rally for the Arizona GOP in Prescott, AZ at 7:00 pm ET.

Gov. Jim Doyle (D-WI) gets campaign support from actor Michael J. Fox who attends a get-out-the-vote rally at Serb Hall at 9:30 am ET in Milwaukee, WI. Fox then heads down to Arizona to close out the campaign season with Jim Pederson and congressional candidate Harry Mitchell in Tucson, AZ.

DNC chairman Howard Dean -- a man who knows that any good 50-state strategy starts at home -- attends a meet and greet with the Vermont Democratic Party in Burlington at 2:00 pm ET and participates in a neighborhood canvas with gubernatorial candidate Scudder Parker (D-VT), Lt. Gov. candidate Matt Dunne, and other Democratic leaders at 2:30 pm ET.

Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) campaigns for Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) at the Minnesota Professional Firefighters headquarters in St. Louis Park, MN at 9:00 am ET. He also heads to Iowa to attend two campaign events for Rep. Jim Nussle (R-IA) at Johnny's Italian Steakhouse in Des Moines, IA at 6:45 pm ET and at West Delaware Middle School in Manchester, IA at 10:00 pm ET.

Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun Times writes up Sen. Obama's, much like Giuliani, wrapping up his 2006 campaigning in Iowa this evening. Obama also plans to campaign for his Illinois colleagues Tammy Duckworth and Rep. Melissa Bean (D-IL) today. LINK

Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO) rallies in Creve Coeur, Columbia, Independence, and Springfield, MO today. His senior colleague, Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO), plans to be with him every step of the way.

Talent's opponent, Democrat Claire McCaskill, does some phone-banking in St. Louis and door-to-door GOTV in Kansas City, MO today.

Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN) began his day on Bob Corker's home turf in Chattanooga, TN. He called into IMUS this morning and plans to be on CNN's Larry King Live this evening at 9:00 pm ET. Ford also plans to campaign in Knoxville and Centerville, TN today before wrapping up with a Memphis, TN rally this evening.

Gov. George Pataki plans to hit the Empire State campaign trail today. Pataki plans to meet and greet voters with Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NRCC) in North Tonawanda, NY at 11:30 am ET.

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) attends a get-out-the-vote rally with Democrat Baron Hill -- who is seeking to return to Congress to represent Indiana's 9th congressional district -- at 12:00 pm ET in Clarksville, IN. Sen. Bayh also heads to two get-out-the-vote rallies with congressional candidate Brad Ellsworth (D-IN) at 1:15 pm ET and at Plumbers & Pipefitters headquarters in Evansville, IN at 6:00 pm ET.

Vice President Al Gore and Tipper Gore -- two people who know where their base is -- attend an event hosted by the American Society of Association Executives and the Center for Association Leadership on the environment at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts at 8:00 pm ET in Washington, DC.

Be sure to join in the political debate on ABC News Now. Send in your tough questions and sharp opinions on video to us at Be Seen, Be Heard and we'll address them on ABC News Now during our live coverage Election Day.

Give America and us a piece of your mind! The link for Be Seen Be Heard is: LINK

You'll be able to catch Charlie Gibson's "Countdown to Vote 2006" daily webcast today shortly after 12:30 pm ET where Charlie, George Stephanopoulos, Mark Halperin, and others assess the state of play four days before the election.

You can also always check back to the Politics page at later in the day to catch the webcast at anytime. LINK

Tonight on cable, a politics/comedy doubleheader, in which you can get election perspectives from two people very familiar with the lack of good restaurants on the Upper West Side.

At 11:00 pm ET, Jerry Seinfeld joins Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. LINK

Then, at 11:30 pm ET, Stephen Colbert hosts ABC News' Mark Halperin. LINK


"Democrats head to Election Day with a continued advantage in voter preference, fueled by discontent with the war in Iraq and broad unhappiness with George W. Bush and the Republican-led Congress alike," writes ABC News' Polling Director Gary Langer. LINK

"The president's party may have gained back some ground: The Democrats' lead among likely voters in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll is perhaps a bit narrower than its recent level, unseen in congressional elections since post-Watergate 1974 and 1976."

"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:

From NRCC communications director Carl Forti: "House races come down to a choice between the two candidates on the ballot. And that choice comes down to local issues, whether it's a matter of which candidate will keep unemployment at its lowest level in five years and which candidate will raise taxes, or which candidate will vote to continue strengthening our borders and which candidate will give amnesty to illegal immigrants. Now it's all about turnout. Remember, all politics is local."

From DCCC communications director Bill Burton: "We're closing with Iraq in as big a way as possible today. Rep. Emanuel and Sen. Schumer are putting out a joint statement on the issue this morning, Emanuel is going to have a conference call with reporters at noon ET to talk about the issue from Chicago, IL. Schumer is going to have a press conference at 1:00 pm ET in Washington, DC. We'll be sending out an aggressive correspondence via email to our multi-million person supporter list and we'll be working with all Democrats booked on local and national tv and radio today. We're both going to be pushing on the same vital elements: the new, ludicrous Dole comments that Democrats are content to lose in Iraq, the Military Times endorsement of Rumsfeld's departure, the generals who all say Rumsfeld should go, the Republicans who all say that Iraq is moving in the wrong direction and the steadfast adherence of Bush, Cheney, and Boehner to push on "full steam ahead" in the same failed direction. It's the clearest contrast we make with Republicans and that's our final case to the American people today."


With the balance of power in Washington likely to shift toward the Democrats, some suggest President Bush may be preparing to return to his more bipartisan ways as governor of Texas, report Sheryl Gay Stolberg and David Sanger in a New York Times "White House Memo."LINK

Check out the Dan Bartlett emphasis on entitlement reform, and Ted Kennedy's gauntlet throw on No Child Left Behind funding, and recognize that as good a job as the Timespersons did on this must-read, they did not include sufficient scrutiny of the Bush-Pelosi dynamic.

"Time for Rumsfeld to go," reads the header above the Military Times editorial that Democrats will continue to talk about today. As the White House and others are quick to point out, these papers are owned by Gannett - the same folks who own USA Today, which doesn't always publish editorials all that favorable to the Administration. LINK

From the editorial: "Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt."

In a column that foresees a "GOP massacre," Dick Morris asks: "Why the rout? President Bush let Iraq be the major issue of the election. He could have raised worries about North Korea and homeland security to the same level, but he insisted on focusing on Iraq, making changes in tactics and trying to sell them to a cynical America. Thus, he was left defending a failure rather than trumpeting his key successes." LINK

"Plus, the war in Iraq has divided the Republicans - the isolationist Pat Buchanans are abandoning an internationalist president."

Morris also blames the GOP majority itself for "total inaction on tax reform and Social Security, and just small steps on immigration and Medicare reform."

Paul Krugman displays his usual disdain for President Bush in his New York Times column and writes that the end of one party control in Washington, DC will likely go some distance in altering policy despite the Administration's push for what Krugman sees as a slightly more than co-equal executive branch. LINK

The New York Times' Adam Nagourney and Jim Rutenberg report that while the White House claims the timing of the Saddam Hussein verdict had nothing to do with the elections, the President is using the news to bring out Republicans voters. LINK


"Jubilant Shiites marched by the hundreds Monday, celebrating Saddam Hussein's conviction and death sentence as Sunnis held defiant counter-demonstrations. The surge in violence expected after the Sunday verdict on Saddam's trial for crimes against humanity still did not materialize. An Interior Ministry spokesman credited a round-the-clock curfew in Baghdad and two restive Sunni provinces. But Iraq's relentless death toll continued: the bodies of 50 murder victims were discovered Sunday, the bulk of them in Baghdad, police said," reports ABC News' Baghdad Bureau.

The Wall Street Journal's ed board writes that "justice for Saddam is one admirable legacy of the American sacrifice in Iraq. But to make it permanent, the U.S. must also defeat the insurgency that battles on in Saddam's name."

The New York Daily News' Michael McAuliff reports that GOP candidates are hoping the Saddam Hussein verdict will help bolster support. LINK

Edward Epstein of the San Francisco Chronicle discusses the political fallout of Saddam Hussein's death sentence, "Tony Snow said it was preposterous to think the verdict's timing was manipulated." LINK

GOP agenda:

In a near must-read, the Wall Street Journal's Fred Barnes writes that Republicans "abandoned" reform, and the consequences have been "dire."

"With scarcely a fight, Republicans gave up on Social Security reform in 2005, immigration reform in 2006, and never really got started on tax reform. Mr. Bush also cast aside the overarching theme for his domestic policy -- the Ownership Society -- without an explanation."

Barnes blames Congress more than the Rebel-in-Chief.

The Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman looks at Hastert's future and reports that Rep. Boehner confirmed yesterday on "Fox News Sunday" that he and Hastert have discussed possibly postponing Republican leadership elections. LINK

". . . if Democrats seize control of the House in tomorrow's election, as many political analysts and pollsters are predicting, then Hastert is widely expected to exit the leadership stage and allow a new generation of Republican leaders to try to recapture the majority," writes Weisman.


The Los Angeles Times' Hamburger and Wallsten deliver a must-read focusing on "a central question to be answered Tuesday in this South Florida House district and other competitive races across the country: Which political force will prove stronger -- the niche-marketing effort, led by GOP strategist Karl Rove and powered by computerized outreach methods, or the classic "throw the bums out" mood of an electorate uneasy with the Iraq war and unhappy with one-party rule?" LINK

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

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

In his look at politicians "preaching to their choirs" on the Sunday before the election, the Washington Post's Michael Grunwald writes that Rep. Ford and Sen. Obama "were suggesting to black churchgoers" in Nashville, TN on Sunday "that God wants Ford in the Senate."LINK

Casting and counting:

The Washington Post's Amy Goldstein and Peter Slevin report that election law experts "across the ideological spectrum" think the state "most ripe" for voting disputes "may well be Missouri." LINK

Indiana is predicted to have problems with voting machines because of Indiana's new voter-identification law and its first-ever statewide database that will make the state vulnerable in an especially close election season, Notes the Indianapolis Star's Theodore Kim. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's June Kronholz looks at the "new breed of watchdog" that will be out in force for Election Day. LINK

State polls:

USA Today/Gallup provides you polling in many of the key Senate races around the country: LINK

"Incumbent Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman holds a 50 -- 38 percent likely voter lead over Democratic candidate Ned Lamont, with 8 percent for Republican Alan Schlesinger," according to Quinnipiac University's latest poll.

"In the New Jersey Senate race, Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez has a 48 -- 43 percent likely voter lead over Republican State Sen. Tom Kean, Jr.," in the latest Quinnipiac University poll from the Garden State.

The political week ahead:

The week ahead remains very much in flux pending tomorrow's election results.

On Election Day, President Bush and Laura Bush vote in Crawford, TX at 10:30 am ET.

The Nation's other politically potent First Couple plan to vote together in Chappaqua, New York.

The President has no public schedule on Wednesday which always raises press conference suspicion among media types. The AFL-CIO holds a post-election news conference at 12:30 pm ET at their Washington, DC headquarters. AARP hosts a discussion at the National Press Club in Washington, DC at 2:30 pm ET called "Moving Forward: Midterm Election Results and the New Congress," with Charlie Cook of National Journal and the Cook Political Report; Chuck Todd of The Hotline; Mike McCurry, former press secretary for President Clinton; Mark McKinnon, media adviser to President Bush; and Ed Goeas, president and CEO of the Terrance Group.

Also on Wednesday, Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) attends the Detroit Regional Chamber's annual Small Business Conference at the Ford Conference & Event Center in Dearborn, MI.

On Thursday, Stan Greenburg of Democracy Corps presents "a major post-election poll" at 1:00 p.m. ET at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

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