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More Midterm Mania

The latest round of FEC reports shows that the RNC has "more than triple the cash" as the DNC.  "The RNC raised $7.6 million in August and has $39 million in the bank, compared with the DNC's August donations of $6.7 million and a balance of $11 million in the bank."  Democrats are more competitive financially with Republicans at the House and Senate campaign committee level. 

The Hill reports that with control of the House potentially being a close call on election night, both sides are already looking beyond that point to the ranks of moderate members who might be persuaded to switch parties. 

The Wall Street Journal reports from California to makes its point about how many states aren't seeing any competitive House races this cycle because of redistricting that favors incumbents.

The New York Times front-pages that from California and Illinois to Massachusetts and Maryland, GOP candidates for governor "are playing up their liberal positions on issues including stem cell research, abortion and the environment...  Governing Republican and campaigning Democratic is not a new technique…  But political experts say that the strategy is particularly pervasive this year, as Republicans seek to distance themselves from an unpopular president and to respond to what is widely recognized as polarization fatigue among many voters." 

In CALIFORNIA, the state's most powerful public employee unions have united together for a common cause -- to make sure Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) doesn't get re-elected, the San Francisco Chronicle notes.  The effort could cost the unions as much as $25 million and "comes at a critical time for Democrat Phil Angelides, whose campaign has languished much of the summer." 

The Hartford Courant says that based on his ads, CONNECTICUT Democratic Senate nominee Ned Lamont appears to still be wooing Democrats instead of the independent voters he'll arguably need to put himself over the top on election day. 

After defeating a former head of the NAACP, and now facing an African-American Republican challenger, MARYLAND Democratic Senate nominee Ben Cardin is doing some crucial black outreach. 

The MASSACHUSETTS gubernatorial race could turn into a nationally watched race, notes the Boston GlobeDeval Patrick is the "first African-American to win a major party's nomination for the top job in the state."  His opponent, Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey (R), would be the state's first female governor.  "Patrick now faces a tough, seven-week campaign that the state's Democratic leadership hopes will return the governor's office to the party's control for the first time since 1990."

Patrick "won every county from the mountains to the sea, racking up victories even in more conservative Democratic strongholds," adds the Globe

RNC chair Ken Mehlman campaigns for GOP House candidate Michele Bachmann in swing state MINNESOTA today.

In NEW JERSEY, Tom Kean, Jr. (R) has a 48%-45% lead over incumbent Sen. Bob Menendez (D) in a Quinnipiac poll, the AP writes. 

A day after showing Ted Strickland (D) leading Ken Blackwell (R) by 21 points in OHIO's gubernatorial contest, another Quinnipiac poll finds the Senate contest there to be much tighter, with Sherrod Brown (D) leading Sen. Mike DeWine (R), 45%-44%.  Also, the Columbus Dispatch reports that Ohio State football fans didn't appreciate the GOP-backed Progress for America airing a hard-hitting TV ad showing September 11 images during a game last week.  "Buckeye fans... got a look at the spot, and then some gave station president and general manager Tom Griesdorn an earful." 

VIRGINIA Sen. George Allen (R) "said for the first time publicly yesterday that he has Jewish ancestry, a day after responding angrily to an exchange that included questions about his mother's racial sensitivity and whether his family has Jewish roots."  Allen said in a statement yesterday that "he was proud to have recently discovered that his grandfather, an anti-Nazi resistance fighter in North Africa, was part of a well-known Jewish family...  Allen's religious background has not been a campaign issue.  But when [a] reporter asked Allen about it Monday, the exchange triggered a flood of critical commentary on Internet blogs," demanding that Allen clarify his family history.