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Hot Midterm Race Developments

From NBC's Mark Murray
-- In California, the big news of the day was Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) being caught on tape, per a Los Angeles Times report, saying that Cubans and Puerto Ricans are fiery people because of their combination of "black blood" and Latino blood." Opponent Phil Angelides (D) pounced on Schwarzenegger's remarks, saying that the governor once again "has used language that is deeply offensive to all Californians and embarrassed our state." At a news conference, Schwarzenegger apologized for the comments, and said that he'd be upset if his children had said something similar.

-- In Rhode Island's competitive GOP primary, which concludes on Tuesday, incumbent Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R) hits opponent Steve Laffey (R) in one of the toughest TV ads we've seen so far this cycle. "The file on Steve Laffey: Police document he talked down to the wife of a firefighter and then had to be restrained... To cover up a charge that he stole confidential material from a former employer, Steve Laffey doctored his resume. Steve Laffey. Untrustworthy. Unpredictable. Unreliable."

-- And speaking of hard-hitting TV ads, Tennessee Senate candidate Bob Corker (R) is running one -- his third ad of the general election campaign -- that blasts opponent Harold Ford (D) on an issue Ford has been emphasizing in his own advertising: national security. "Congressman Ford voted against reauthorizing the Patriot Act... He voted to cut defense spending by over 16%. Just who does he think is going to provide our security?"